Dothistroma septosporum

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Dothistroma septosporum causing "red band" symptoms on pine needles (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Robert L. James, USDA Forest Service
Source: IPM Images

Dothistroma septosporum (Dorog. 1911) M. Morelet 1968

The fungus is widely distributed and causes needle loss on pines (red band disease of pines), resulting in retarded growth and sometimes tree death. Many species of pines can become infected as well as some other conifers. The disease disperses long distances via airborne spores and it has been suggested that pines in Australia became first infected through spores travelling by wind from New Zealand. Spread over longer distances has occurred via infected planting material.

The symptoms start with yellow spots on the needles. These soon circle the needles and become reddish-brown bands. The tips also die off. The needles eventually become necrotic and drop off. The fungus can be controlled by aerial application of copper fungicide. Although there is some evidence of sexual reproduction, typically only asexual spores are found.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Nadelpilz der Kiefer
• English: Dothistroma needle blight
needle blight
red band disease of pine
• Français: maladie des bandes rouges des pins
brûlure en bandes rouges

Synonyms:
Cytosporina septospora
Mycosphaerella pini (teleomorph synonym)

See also the closely related species Dothistroma pini which is morphologically indistinguishable and causes similar symptoms.