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Identification of Phytophthora resistant beech trees by composition of endophyte communities, lesion formation and phenomics approaches.


Invasive alien pathogens and emerging infectious diseases are an unprecedented threat to the capacity of European forests to supply the growing bioeconomy with renewable biomass, carbon sequestration and other essential ecosystem benefits. To strengthen the biosecurity against these pathogens, new, science-based and socially acceptable forest protection solutions need to be developed. The research in RESISTREE will target central knowledge gaps related to a crucial phase of a biological invasion, the establishment phase. Specifically, RESISTREE will deliver in-depth information about the host phenotypic traits and associated mycobiome that can suppress establishment of the invasive Phytophthora-species (Oomycetes) on one of the key stone species of European forests, the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). We will test hypotheses about (1) H1 - Endophyte assemblages differ between healthy and Phytophthora-infected beech trees; (2) H2 - Certain endophytic fungi (individual species or groups) limit the growth of Phytophthora-species through different mechanisms; (3) H3 - Lesion formation in beech tissues depends on the quality or quantity of endophytic infections in the tissue; and (4) H4 - Phytophthora root infection influences the growth and morphology of seedlings before visible symptoms (chlorosis,lesions) appear. RESISTREE combines theory and methods from ecology, cell biology, mycology and forest pathology, resulting in an original, multidisciplinary research with high potential for ground-breaking findings. RESISTREE will promote transfer of knowledge between academia and the private sector, resulting in an interdisciplinary project. RESISTREE adheres to priorities of the H2020 program, and follow the European recommendations included in the Directive 2009/128/EC, which calls for non-chemical methods of plant protection.

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Almas Alle 8
750 07 Uppsala
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 203 852,16