Bursaphelenchus (genus)

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Bursaphelenchus xylophilus infestation on Pinus densiflora (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: USDA Forest Service - IPM Images

Bursaphelenchus Fuchs, 1937

The species of this genus are basically fungal feeders with various species having adapted to a plant-parasitic life style. The are transported to new host plants by insects, e.g. many species feed on fungi in the galleries of bark beetles and are then transported to new hosts by these beetles. Dispersal occurs during a specialized immature stage, the "dauer juvenile", in Bursaphelenchus the 3rd or 4th stage.

Some species of Bursaphelenchus cause serious tree diseases while others have been associated with declining conifers, but their status as disease causing organisms is less clear.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.


Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: