Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by the pinewood nematode (PWN) (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer) Nickle) is a worldwide issue. Infection is considered to be promoted mainly by the increased air temperature, but it is important to investigate whether the effect of high temperature similarly influences the different ranks of resistant clone. In the present study, we conducted PWN inoculation tests using six common open-pollinated families of resistant Pinus thunbergii Parl. The tests were conducted at nurseries of five test sites across Japanese archipelago between 2015 and 2017. Our analysis focused specifically on temperature. Firstly, we examined the effects of test sites, inoculation year, and their interaction on unaffected seedling rate and found that the unaffected seedling rate of all tested pine families decreased as the cumulative temperature increased. We found that the unaffected seedling rate decreased as the cumulative temperature increased for all tested pine families. In general, higher cumulative temperatures were required for having an effect on the unaffected seedling rates of higher PWN-resistant families. Typically, early cumulative temperatures, i.e., 19 days after inoculation, had the greatest effect on the unaffected seedling rates of PWN-resistant pines. However, the relationship between cumulative temperature and predicted unaffected seedling rate follow similar rate for all families. Thus, the order of resistance level is maintained in terms of the cumulative temperature required for having an effect.
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