Rhizina root rot

Rhizina root rot - Gyromitra sp. Sometimes confused with <em>R. undulata</em>, this fungus does not damage seedlings
  • Latin name: Rhizina undulata Fr.:Fr.
  • French name: Pourridié rhizinéen
  • Division: Ascomycota
  • Class: Pezizales
  • Synonym(s): Rhizina inflata (Schaeff.) P. Karst.
Description

Micro-habitat(s)

Root

Distribution

Canada

Damage, symptoms and biology

Outbreaks of the disease are sporadic, but the mortality of up to 80% of seedlings has been reported in newly established plantations, following site preparation burns.

Fruiting bodies appear in early summer and last until the first frost in the fall. The spores are dispersed by the wind and carried to the ground by rain, where they survive for at least two years. They germinate and colonize the litter and conifer roots. The fungus spreads by means of its mycelium, infecting and killing other seedlings. Later, fruiting bodies form on the root collar of infected seedlings and the cycle starts over again.

Other information

In British Columbia, rhizina root rot is mainly a disease of young seedlings in plantations that have been slashburned within 2 years. In other parts of the northern hemisphere, the fungus is known to affect all ages of trees, but is always associated with recent fire activity. Damage might be avoided at high risk sites by delaying planting for two or more years after burning. No chemical or biological controls have been developed. R. undulata is sometimes confused with other ascomycete fungi, particularly Gyromitra species (Fig. c).

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Rhizina root rot

Information on host(s)

Main host(s)

Black spruce, eastern white pine, Engelmann spruce, grand fir, red pine, red spruce, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, shore pine, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western larch, western redcedar, western white pine, white spruce

Photos
  • Rhizina root rot Seedling mortality and fruiting bodies of Rhizina undulata
  • Rhizina root rot R. undulata fruiting body
  • Rhizina root rot Gyromitra sp. Sometimes confused with R. undulata, this fungus does not damage seedlings
  • Rhizina root rot Young fruiting bodies of Rhizina undulata, the cause of Rhizina root rot.
  • Rhizina root rot Older fruiting bodies of Rhizina undulata, the cause of Rhizina root rot, on a site burned early in the preceding year.
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