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UBC Undergraduate Research

Molecular identification and characterization of Ceratocystiopsis spp. associated with the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosa) Pu, Ting


The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosa) attack has been the most devastating disturbance in the logdepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests in interior British Columbia, Canada. Previous studies have found several fungal species associated MPB: Ophiostoma clavigerum, Ophiostoma monitum, Leptographium longiclavatum, Grosmannia clavigera and some Ceratocystiopsis (Cop.) species. The aim of the study was to identify and characterize the Ceratocystiopsis species associated with MPB using molecular methods. In total, 72 samples were isolated from the beetles from 12 collection sites in BC and Alberta. They were distinguished as Cop. – like species based on morphological features. 61 of them were investigated in the phylogenetic analyses, using sequences of internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS), and portion of the large ribosomal subunit (LSU) of RNA, and β-tubulin gene. Surprisingly, the results showed that most of the isolates belonged to Sporothrix, which had rarely been reported as a symbiont with beetles in Canada. Results from β-tubulin gene showed that there were many variations under this genus. Future study will be needed to resolve the species-level taxonomy.

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