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Development of improved methods for detection, control and eradication of pine wood nematode in support of EU Plant Health policy

Dates: 2011-2014
Funding: EU FP7
Countries: UK, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, Spain
Scientific Collaborators: Forest Research, UK; Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Germany; Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France; Julius Kühn-Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Austria; National Institute of Biological Resources (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos), Portugal; University of Evora (Portugal); Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain; University of Valladolid, Spain
NRI Project Leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

BACKGROUND

Pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is regarded as a major threat to European forests, particularly following its establishment in Portugal and the fact that, even with application of stringent measures, the pest has continued to spread and kill pine trees in that country.

Considerable progress has been made in understanding the relationships between PWN, its vector insects and the host tree/environmental factors that result in pine wilt in all countries affected but, especially, in Portugal. Apart from research and management initiated within Portugal directly, the EU Framework Programme 5 project PHRAME, addressed a number of important issues on B. xylophilus, its vectors in the genus Monochamus and the factors leading to wilt expression and tree mortality. In developing the concept for the current project, the knowledge gained in PHRAME and through other research efforts internationally has been brought together to address the key interactions between the four main elements that determine risks from PWN namely: the nematode, its vectors, the host tree, and the immediate eco-climatic environment.

OBJECTIVES

The Workpackages of the project are summarised in the Figure below, which distinguishes between the ways in which the vector beetles in the genus Monochamus transmit nematodes to either living trees (maturation feeding) or dying/dead trees (oviposition).

pwn2

RESULTS OF NRI WORK

  • In previous collaborative work with Prof Juan Pajares at the University of Valladolid, we identified the male-produced aggregation pheromone of Monochamus galloprovincialis, the only known vector of pine wilt nematode in Europe. This was shown to synergise the attractiveness of host-plant volatiles to provide a powerful attractant for both sexes.
  • Use of traps baited with pheromone and host-plant volatiles for monitoring the beetle and the nematode will be investigated. It may also be possible to use the traps for stopping the spread of infestation from a localised introduction.
  • Sex-specific cuticular hydrocarbons of M. galloprovincialis will be identified and synthesised and their possible use in manipulation of the the behaviour of the beetle will be investigated.
  • Pheromones for other potential vectors of pine wilt nematode, such as Monochamus sutor, will be investigated.

mgalltrap
Catch of Monochamus galloprovincialis in one trap baited with pheromone and host-plant volatiles

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