Three Colopterus beetle species carry the oak wilt fungus to fresh wounds on red oak in Missouri

Maya Hayslett, Jennifer Juzwik, Bruce Moltzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Beetles in the family Nitidulidae can transmit the oak wilt fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum, to fresh wounds on healthy oak trees, leading to infection and disease development. Historically, nitidulid beetles have not been considered important vectors of the pathogen in Missouri. Studies were conducted in the spring of 2005 and 2006 to determine frequencies of nitidulid beetle species contaminated with C. fagacearum visiting fresh wounds on red oak trees in central Missouri. Colopterus truncatus, C. niger, and C. semitectus were the most abundant species collected from fresh wounds and the only species found to be contaminated with Ceratocystis fagacearum. Of 230 beetles assayed for C. fagacearum, 23 yielded the fungus. Contamination frequencies were higher for beetles collected in April than May; no beetles collected in June were contaminated. We hypothesize that Colopterus truncatus, C. niger, and C. semitectus are principal nitidulid beetle vector species in Missouri during spring. The risk for pathogen transmission by these beetles appears to be greatest in April and least in June.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
JournalPlant disease
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • Insect vectors
  • Quercus spp.

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