Objectives for years 1 and 2
- To develop and agree protocols for sampling and study of the biology of pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) and its vectors in the genus Monochamus.
- To develop and implement procedures for collection and mass production of different geographic sources of pine wood nematode.
- To develop techniques for identification of nematodes and to use the information to assess possible pathways for movement of B. xylophilus into Europe.
- To develop techniques and carry out studies on the pathogenicity of different strains of pine wood nematode in seedling trees and in standing trees in the affected zone in Portugal.
- To set up a Consortium website and to develop a comprehensive literature database.
- To develop models to link tree growth processes to environmental factors as a prelude to a new Pest Risk Analysis model.
Progress report for Year 1 (PDF-113K)
- Sampling protocols for vectors were developed and surveys carried out in Portugal, Spain and Austria.
- Surveys for Bursaphelenchus spp. were carried out in Austria, Portugal, Spain, France and UK.
- Eco-climatic data, including maps, National Forestry Inventory, land use cover, forest fire outbreaks and hazards are being gathered.
- Extensive literature surveys have been used to assess potential methods for accurate early detection of wilt expression in standing trees. Tests to measure water/nutrient flow, electrical resistance and sound and oleoresin flow have been evaluated.
- Cultures of B. xylophilus have been established and include two populations from Portugal, one from China, one from Canada and several other Bursaphelenchus spp. from China, Italy, Germany and Turkey.
- Protocols for inoculation of seedling trees were developed and tests carried out on 13 conifer species (9 of Pinus, 2 of Larix, 1 each of Abies and Picea).
- Reference isolates of B. xylophilus have been obtained from China, Canada, Japan, Korea, Portugal and USA and further work to obtain isolates from Mexico and Taiwan is underway.
- Revision of papers and other information on pine wood nematode has been completed.
- A secure website to allow data transfer and confidential information flow between partners has been set up.
Progress report for Year 2 (PDF-110K)
- Using standard protocols from year 1, vector surveys were carried out in Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain.
- Further surveys for Bursaphelenchus spp. were carried out in Portugal, Spain and France.
- Portuguese data on temperatures (a range of parameters), soil characteristics, fire outbreaks, tree felling, incidence of B. xylophilus, evapotranspiration as well as satellite imagery have been gathered.
- Further experiments on electrical conductivity were carried out in Portugal at Tróia and Companhia das Lezírias.
- Strains of B. xylophilus from USA (2), Portugal (2) and Korea (3) were maintained and included in the permanent collection.
- Three inoculation trials in climate chambers (1210 seedlings) to test relative pathogenicities of the Portuguese strain of B. xylophilus were performed.
- No further strains of B. xylophilus have been obtained. Culturing of existing strains continues, although one strain from Taiwan could not be retained because of contamination.
- Further additions of papers and other information on pine wood nematode have been made to the bibliographic database.
- Considerable effort has gone into development of a process-based approach to understanding the mechanisms that lead to wilt expression in trees where nematodes have been introduced during maturation feeding.