Pine Wilt Disease: A Threat to Pine Forests in Turkey?
The pinewood nematode (PWN), is the causal agent of pine wilt disease, and constitute one of the most important pathogens of conifer forests. In 1999, this nematode was found and identified for the first time in Portugal and in Europe. The detection of this quarantine pest in Portugal has prompted the need to know more about the distribution of Bursaphelenchus spp. in coniferous trees in Europe in order to describe the geographic range of the species and to act quickly in case of the nematode’s unwanted introduction into other European regions. Pine forest has a wide distribution in Turkey, which increases the number of susceptible host trees for the PWN. Because of these reasons, some regions of Turkey were surveyed for the presence of the nematode. Three different species of Bursaphelenchus were found, however, B. xylophilus was not detected. The detection of B. mucronatus, very similar to B. xylophilus biologically and morphologically, is very important. The presence of this species indicates that B. xylophilus could spread easily into the conifer forests of Turkey. Biological characteristics of M. galloprovincialis were compared with M. carolinensis, the North American insect vector, and some of them were found to be similar.
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