Scientists fear renewed threat to white pine trees

Oct 31, 2013

Scientists worry that a fungus targeting white pine forests has mutated and could return more than a century after it first hit the United States.

White pine blister rust comes from a combination of white pines and —called ribes (RYE'-beez)—like gooseberries and currants. When infected ribes lose their leaves in the fall, spores of the invade white pines and eventually kill the tree.

When the fungus first hit in 1909, a massive eradication effort including a ban on ribes, helped stem the destruction.

But a Cornell University researcher found a previously immune currant infected with a mutated form of the fungus in 2011 in Connecticut. Scientists now worry the risk may return.

The U.S. Forest Service is leading a research effort into the fungus.

Explore further: Fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats proves hardy survivor

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Frog killing fungus found to infect crayfish too

Dec 18, 2012

(Phys.org)—A team of US biologists has found that the chytrid fungus, believed to be responsible for amphibian deaths worldwide, also infects and kills crayfish. In their paper published in the Proceedings of ...

The zombie-ant fungus is under attack, research reveals

May 02, 2012

A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University. The research reveals, for the first time, how an ...

Recommended for you

Preserving crucial tern habitat in Long Island Sound

5 hours ago

Great Gull Island is home to one of the most important nesting habitats for Roseate and Common terns in the world. The estimated 1,300 pairs of Roseate terns that summer on the 17-acre island at the eastern ...

California's sea otter numbers holding steady

6 hours ago

When a sea otter wants to rest, it wraps a piece of kelp around its body to hold itself steady among the rolling waves. Likewise, California's sea otter numbers are holding steady despite many forces pushing ...

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

20 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

Pakistan releases smuggled turtles into the wild

Sep 22, 2014

Pakistani officials and environmentalists on Monday released some 200 rare turtles into the River Indus after the reptiles were retrieved from a southwestern Chinese town where they were seized by customs ...

User comments : 0