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Fruit "Rust" Signals New Threat to White Pines

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A fungus that decimates white pines has mutated and can now infect immune and resistant plants, say researchers.

This change is alarming to researchers, growers, loggers, and forest managers.

White pine blister rust (WPBR) infects white pines and Ribes, a plant genus that include gooseberries and currants. Some states such as Maine prohibit planting Ribes to protect valuable Northeast pines, yet New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, among others, have developed currant and gooseberry fruit industries in the last decades using WPBR immune varieties.

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