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White pine blister rust resistance in limber pine: Evidence for a major gene

Posted date: September 04, 2013
Publication Year: 
Authors: Schoettle, Anna W.; Sniezko, R. A.; Kegley, A.; Burns, K. S.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Phytopathology. 104:163-173.


Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) is being threatened by the lethal disease white pine blister rust caused by the non-native pathogen Cronartium ribicola. The types and frequencies of genetic resistance to the rust will likely determine the potential success of restoration or proactive measures. These first extensive inoculation trials using individual tree seed collections from over 100 limber pine trees confirm: genetic segregation of a stem symptom-free trait to blister rust that is consistent with inheritance by a single dominant R gene and the resistance allele appears to be distinct from the R allele in western white pine. Following previous conventions, we are naming the R gene for limber pine "Cr4." The frequency of the Cr4 allele across healthy and recently invaded populations in the Southern Rocky Mountains was unexpectedly high (5.0 %; ranging from 0 to 13.9%). Cr4 is in equilibrium suggesting it is not a product of a recent mutation and may have other adaptive significance within the species possibly related to other abiotic or biotic stress factors. The identification of Cr4 in native populations of limber pine early in the invasion progress in this region provides useful information for predicting near-term impacts and structuring long-term management strategies.


Schoettle, A. W.; Sniezko, R. A.; Kegley, A.; Burns, K. S. 2014. White pine blister rust resistance in limber pine: Evidence for a major gene. Phytopathology. 104:163-173.