Will a fungus save us from the Ailanthus invasion?

Giacomo Lorenzini

Abstract


Rapid growth rate, prolific fruiting and vegetative reproduction from root sprouts, ready germination and extended root system, allelopathic effects, resistance to herbivory combined to tolerance to environmentally stressful conditions such as infertile sites, make Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (also known as Heaven tree, Simaroubaceae) a noxious and highly invasive tree in all countries where it has been introduced and is become naturalized. After a brief historical trait of the importance of the presence of this plant and the complexity of eradication campaigns based on manual cutting and herbicide treatments, the note illustrates the possible role as a candidate mycoherbicide of a soilborne fungal wilt agent (Verticillium nonalfalfae H.W. Platt, R.M. Bostock, R.M. Davis & Subbarao) recently described in the USA and also reported from Austria.

Keywords


Verticillium nonalfalfae; mycoherbicide; biocontrol; Ailanthus altissima; tree-of-heaven; wilt disease

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2531-7342/6151

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Copyright (c) 2016 Giacomo Lorenzini

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