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Chestnut blight

Cryphonectria parasitica (Syn. Endothia parasitica), the causal agent of chestnut blight, is a fungal pathogen of Castanea and to a minor extent on Quercus species. In Europe this disease lost its severity due to the natural spread of the dsRNA hypovirus CHV1. This hypovirus can be transmitted through hyphal anastomosis, resulting in conversion of the recipient strain to the hypovirulent phenotype (in vitro demonstration of transmissible hypovirulence). Transmission of the hypovirus is limited by a vegetative incompatibility system in C. parasitica.
Analysis of the fungal population structure (vc type diversity, sexual and asexual reproduction) and of the diversity of the hypovirus will yield information on the dispersal and establishment of hypovirulence as well as on introduction pathways. This provides the basis for biocontrol measures.


Chestnut blight cankers on Castanea sativa
active canker superficial canker
Active canker. Bark cracks and epicormic shoots below the canker. Superficial, non-lethal canker after natural infection with hypovirulent C. parasitica strains.


List of publications

List of European VC tester strains



Further information: Ursula Heiniger, Daniel Rigling


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