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Home • Atropellis piniphila CBS 197.64 v1.0
Fruiting bodies (apothecia) of Atropellis piniphila on lodgepole pine.
Fruiting bodies (apothecia) of Atropellis piniphila on lodgepole pine. Photo from Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service.
Blue staining of sapwood caused by Atropellis piniphila.
Blue staining of sapwood caused by Atropellis piniphila. The impact of the pathogen on growth can be seen by the narrower growth rings on the side of the trunk where the pathogen is present and the staining is visible. Photo from Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service.

Atropellis piniphila (Fungi, Ascomycota, Pezizomycotina, Leotiomycetes, Godroniaceae) causes a canker disease on pines. The pathogen attacks branches and stems of several pine species, including Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines in western North America, causing elongate, resinous cankers. The damage can be important as the pathogen produces dark stains in the wood under the canker and can result in tree mortality, growth reduction and reduction in the value of the wood chips or finished wood products. The disease can be particularly severe in young dense stands of pines, in particular after forest fires. The fungus produces pycnidial stomata on the bark, followed by apothecia that develop annually on the cankers. Attacks by pathogens represent one of the most important threats to the sustainable growth of bioenergy trees in plantations. Outbreak prevention relies on a better understanding of how pathogens infect trees so that resistance can be developed and early detection, monitoring and surveillance to prevent spread. Since pathogens of poplars and pines tend to track their hosts worldwide, better detection and surveillance are essential. This can be challenging since pathogens can remain dormant or have endophytic stages in the host tissues. The genome sequencing of Atropellis piniphila is part of a larger effort, the Pathobiome database for bioenergy trees project, that aims at sequencing the genomes of multiple pathogens that share host trees in order to identify common and unique genomic signatures. By sequencing and comparing the genomes of the most important pathogens of poplars and pines, we plan to create a database that will be used to develop tools for the detection, monitoring, surveillance and rapid response of pathogens in these economically and ecologically important trees.