- To develop and agree protocols for the evaluation of emergence at different climatic locations leading to refinement and adjustment of the emergence model and the creation of a validated map of annual emergence patterns for M. galloprovincialis (spread over the life of the project).
- To develop and implement procedures for the evaluation of flight capacities of M. galloprovincialis using adapted flight mills and the comparison of physiological parameters and flight muscles (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop techniques and carry out studies using the mark-release-recapture experiments in the field to enable the study of insect movement in a tunnel-like greenhouse structure in the field (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop techniques and carry out studies of the isolation and characterization of bacteria associated with the nematode in different stages of the B. xylophilus life-cycle, in vector pupae and within infested trees; the taxonomic identification of bacterial isolates using routine molecular biology methods, such as 16S rRNA gene sequencing; as well as the In vitro and In vivo pathogenicity tests of bacteria in Pinus pinaster (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop and validate a set of pine wood nematode (PWN)–specific microsatellite DNA markers (18 polymorphic loci) and first collections of adult/larvae over a variety of sites and areas, which could then be usable at the individual level (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop the testing and improvement of synthetic lures for M. galloprovincialis, as well as traps for live trapping and for mass-trapping of Monochamus spp. To also develop attractants for other European Monochamus species (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop the testing of resistance of Pinus spp. to PWN insect vectors and the evaluation of resistance level and identification of resistance markers during the maturation feeding phase by Monochamus spp. on cut shoots and on seedling trees during the reproductive phase (during year 1 and 2).
- To develop a refinement of the core model which will include field experimentation to verify and refine the process models so that a sub-model to account for latency in wilt expression can be produced.
- To develop the design of the PWN Tool Kit (PTK) interface but with the precise content evolving throughout the duration of the project, early attention will be paid to its format and user interface.
- To set up a Consortium website and to develop a comprehensive literature database.
- To undertake the genetic analysis of the year 1 samples, and also undertake new samplings.
- To develop the testing of the distribution of B. xylophilus in wood and wood chips and their survival and population dynamics depending on wood moisture content, together with the assessment of transmission from tree to neighbouring tree through the soil or by root contact.
- To develop the testing of resistance of Pinus to PWN and this would include symptom development to enable the breeding for resistance to PWN Disease.
- To develop and implement procedures for the estimation of genetic parameters of pine resistance to PWN insect vectors which would include hybridizations for resistance to PWN and the potential of mosaics of tree species as a measure to reduce PWN impacts in Portugal.
- To develop techniques and carry out studies on the evaluation of flight capacities of other Monochamus species from Europe.
- To develop the implementation of transects to study the dispersal of the PWN in the centre of Portugal.
- To undertake the genetic analysis of the year 2 samples and to then undertake a comparison with year 1 results. In order to enable the validation of the results the collection of adults will be carried out in random selected areas.
- To undertake an assessment of the potential for mass-trapping of vectors and development of attractants for other European Monochamus species.
- To undertake an assessment on the transmission of B. xylophilus with wood, wood chips or bark to healthy trees and from infested wood to non infested wood in storage and in transit.
- To undertake an assessment of genetic diversity of European PWN populations in relation to invasions, and an estimation of genetic parameters of pine resistance to PWN insect vectors.
- To undertake the development of a PWN spread model taking into account human influences.
- To maintain interaction with current relative EU projects.
- To undertake the final synthesis of results and construction of PTK modules, and to then undertake delivery and Beta testing of the PTK followed by a full public launch of the PTK.