Finding & Cultivating Resistance to Beech Bark Disease

Just another WordPress site

Finding & Cultivating Resistance to Beech Bark Disease

well good morning everyone and welcome to emerald ash borer University this is a webinar series that’s funded by the USDA Forest Service and we thank them for their help my name is Robin Osborn and I’m coming to you from Michigan State University along with my EAB university colleagues Amy stone from The Ohio State University and dr. cliff Sadoff from Purdue University we welcome you to today’s presentation by dr. Jennifer cook research biologist for the USDA Forest Service in Delaware Ohio she will be presenting information regarding beech Berg disease and the efforts to find and cultivate host plant resistance to it Jennifer has both a master’s degree and a PhD in molecular genetics from the Ohio State University in her position at the USDA Forest Service she is working she is a working member of the restoration and conservation of rural and urban forests Research Unit she is interested in using genetics and breeding to manage invasives insects and pathogen threats through the development of host tree resistance her research is currently focused on developing resistance to beach bark disease in the american beach and resistance to the emerald ash borer and north american species of ash before we get started i want to remind you that your comments and questions are welcome today please feel free to write them in the question and answer feature which you can find by mousing over the bottom or occasionally it’s the top of your screen we will be making a note of all the questions and Jennifer will respond to them after the presentation so we can keep the webinar flowing smoothly to keep these free webinars coming we need your feedback there will be a link provided to you in the Q&A pod at the end of the webinar for a short voluntary confidential survey that I hope you will take time to fill out if you’re one of the first ten people to fill it out we’ll be sending you an emerald ash borer goodie bag but either way we hope that you will give us feedback we will also I will also be sending out an email after the webinar to you with that link in case you weren’t able to access it during the webinar for those of you who want CEUs if you would like a certificate indicating that you participated in today’s live webinar complete the survey and send an email message to Amy Stone at Stone dot nine one at OSU dot edu certificates will be mailed to you within a week of today’s program the webinar is being recorded today and will be available for viewing soon at WWll – more info you will also find the recordings for all our previous EAP university webinars there and with that thank you for participating today and Jennifer you can now you guys see you’ve got your screen up so you can start your presentation thanks Robyn thanks for everyone for tuning in today I’m looking forward to sharing our work on utilizing host resistance to combat Beach Park disease I wanted to start off by talking about the importance of American Beach when I started working on this species over ten years ago now sometimes I interact with foresters who would ask you know why do we care about Beach Park disease let’s just get rid of Beach it’s a nuisance but the reality is it is quite an important species it provides food and habitat for over 40 different species of birds and mammals and there’s been studies that have shown that when Beechnut production is down it impacts that black bear birth rates as well as the rate of survival of their cubs and in some northern hardwood forests peach is now the only mass producing species so it’s particularly important there so forest managers are interested in managing those that are interested in managing for wildlife typically have a great interest in managing to maintain healthy America be just part of their forests so moving into Beach Park disease just to give a little background in case there’s anyone who’s not very familiar with it this disease is a causal complex so it’s caused by two different entities the first being an invasive beach scale insect that’s shown on the left-hand panel it’s a soft-bodied scale insect that if you look down in the lower left only has one mobile phase in its lifecycle that occurs around here in between july and august so it is primarily just dispersed through wind and with people and hitching a ride on various animals and on the right hand side of the piano ECB MuNet chia fungi this is the fruiting bodies the feeding by the beach

scale insect creates tiny little cracks in the bark that allow points of entry for this fungal infection to occur there are two species of my own area fungus that are associated with Beach Park disease Nia nectar Aditi soma is actually a native species and the Annette jfa janata although it’s only found in North America it’s more closely related to exotic species than to any of our native species so the current theory is that it potentially was derived from an introduced species but the point being that these fungi do not or have not been associated with massive disease and mortality without the presence of the scale insect so this slide shows the insect and the fungus at a more macroscopic level on the left-hand panel you can see the typically whitewashed appearance that the scale causes trees to have and that is a result of this white wax-like substance that they secrete and on the right hand side is a larger view of the immunity infection the Annette Rhea usually causes small cankers but when they are enough of them they will begin to coalesce and that results in Girling the tree and eventually can lead to mortality there have been three stages of Beach Park disease defined that are typically referred to the first is the advancing front and that is to describe a situation where Beach scale is present in the population but there not any neo-nazi infection that has yet occurred there’s also a killing front and this is describing once the scale populations have increased and they’re very abundant then neo-nazi infection is now present and you’re starting to see high levels of mortality mortality begins about three to six years after neo necked Rhea well and many times after the scale population is there but definitely once the Elektra infection occurs and this can bury the aftermath forest describes the situation once the more mature most susceptible trees have died and the beach scale population is now it’s still there at a residual lower level and you see as shift from the larger diameter beach into the smaller diameter of beach that occurs with the loss of the most mature trees remaining trees that are present are shown in this picture on the right hand side they’re typically deformed a lot of the cankers are become very deformed as the tree tries to defend itself in the fungal infection and there are a few large trees that will persist that are potentially resistant this slide is showing the direction of the beach scale invasion since its introduction in about 1929 in Maine it actually came in on a European beach and has slowly spread through New England ever since it is estimated to spread about six miles per year although you can see the outbreak in 1993 down in the Smoky Mountains and then in 2000 up in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan were both sort of outlier infestations and so those those outliers instead of being part of the advancing front are believed to have been caused by human movement mostly because both of those are very highly popular tourist attractions letty-san’s State Park in Michigan is the highest traveled state park in Michigan and that’s where we first identified scale in that state the the green shows the range of American Beach in the United States so the good news is that Beach Park disease has not made its way through although it is anticipated that it will continue to move throughout the range of beach the red shows where full-blown Beach Park disease is present meaning the scale and the fungus has been identified and then if you look at the blue areas that is depicting that advancing scale front just to give you an idea of what the impacts of disease of this disease are at the different stages these photos were taking of the killing front in Ludington State Park and the picture on the left shows a beach tree that you can see the white is covering most of the bark the scale insect you can also clearly see a dark strip of going down the length of the bowl and that’s where the bark has been

killed by MuNet reinfection so on its once the bark is dead it’s no longer suitable habitat for the scale insect so that’s why there’s no scale on this particular part of the tree but that long strip of dead bark obviously is me making that tree vulnerable so if you look at the middle photo it’s not uncommon to see what we refer to as Beach snap and this is when wind stresses the tree even further and causes it to break so Beach part disease is causing a lot of fallen trees and hazard trees are created the photo on the far right is showing a heavily cankered survival survivor tree you could see that this tree is damaged it’s stunted in growth so it has no economic value it also has very little value for wildlife this photo is showing again Ludington State Park at the killing front in the first wave of the disease it’s estimated that mortality can reach somewhere between 50 and 80 percent in most stands you can see in this picture a canopy opening that’s been created by the death of several large beech trees in this area in the aftermath forest one of the things that is common to be seen is this formation of what is called a beech thicket and this happens when the diseased trees begin to throw off root sprouts quite extensively in a response to the disease sort of a last-ditch effort to survive in this photo all of the brown leaves are from a single source mother tree that has been cut and that stump has been treated with insecticide so all of the connected root sprouts I mean sorry not insecticide herbicide all of the connected root sprouts are turning brown from that herbicide treatment so you can see it’s pretty extensive just from a single tree and this type of a thicket is is going to prevent regeneration of other species and again it is not going to have the wildlife that value that a healthy mature American beech tree would have with the production of mass and habitat I had mentioned that sometimes we do see symptom free American beech trees that exist in areas where there has been long a long history of each part disease infestation and in 1982 Dave Houston actually published a paper where through artificial inoculation and a picture of artificial inoculation with the insect is shown in the bottom right demonstrated that the resistance is to the scale insect and not to the fungus so when you inoculate with fungal bark plugs you can cause a fungal infection but without the scale causing all of the entry room of wounds into the bar typically the fungus is not an issue it’s estimated that somewhere between one and five percent of beech trees are resistant and this is of course going to vary from population to population the bottom left-hand corner shows a cluster of resistant trees and it’s not uncommon for these trees to be found in clusters which was an important first clue that the resistance is likely a genetic trait and not a result of a particular environment because trees that are growing close to each other socially beech trees are likely either clonally related root sprouts or fuller have stood seedlings so if you think about it many people might be wondering how is it possible that a native tree species has resistance to a non-native invasive insect and this is possibly with pathogens that it has never been exposed to before and hasn’t had the time or the opportunity to develop resistance through coevolution well the answer to that lies in the tremendous amount of genetic diversity that can be found in natural spans of hardwood trees there are open pollinated lots of diversity so that means that there’s a lot of different alleles and combinations of alleles found throughout any population so there could be rare alleles that can confer resistance or tolerance even when there is not coevolution and these are going to be rare because there’s no selective advantage that would make them represented more frequently in the population because the invasive has not yet arrived so the key is actually to increase population level frequency of resistance to manage the invasive

species threat and in this next series of slides I’m going to try to depict the concept of enriching the population for genetic resistance and so in this example and the cartoonist and natural stand that’s been that’s depicted here I’ve about five out of 26 of these trees or 17% are shown that resistant so there’s a lot of diversity in this stand but a low level of resistance at 17% that’s higher than what we’d expect with each mark disease anyway higher don’t we expect with a lot of other pathogens that we’ve that have been studied so your invasive insect or pathogen comes in and attacks the susceptible trees and it’s going to kill some of those some of them are going to be missed just as escapes and maybe later on they’ll be infested but the result is as those trees die off this population has now been reduced to a smaller number of trees the same five resistant trees are still there but now we only have five susceptible trees left so five out of ten trees we’ve gone from 17% resistance in the population to a proportion of 50% in the population so the population is now enriched for resistance so now that there are higher higher proportion of resistant trees in the population then there will be that before the resistant trees will have a better opportunity to breed between each other increasing the chance of the progeny they producing being resistant so now I’ve shown the next generation with an even greater number of resistant progenies but if I back up to the natural stand this selection of resistant trees the way I’ve described it is actually natural selection when the pests or the pathogen is actually killing the susceptible tree and in some cases this can be effective if it’s not killing so many of the trees that there are not enough resistant trees left to in close enough proximity that they can breed with each other and in some cases those susceptible trees like the beach part disease a lot of those trees are lingering on they’re continuing to produce pollens they’re continuing to contribute to the next generation so they’re continuing to create susceptible individuals so we can kind of push natural selection along by doing one of two things we can go in and physically remove through silviculture those disease trees and that will also lead to that enrichment in our breeding population or we can actually physically identify the resistant trees in the natural stand and through grafting or at seek collections move them to a different location into a breeding program but the outcome is still the same that we have this breeding population enriched for resistance that can then and the next generation produce a population that’s even enriched for resistance to a greater level so in this example I’m showing now 18 out of 26 trees so in this generation were up to 70% resistance and of course if it’s a breeding program you’re going to continue to test and the susceptibles that have made it through well through further generations eventually be removed or in a natural population where you have continual pressure from the insect or pathogen eventually this to some or more of those susceptible trees will continue to die off so the process that I was just describing where you’re selecting trees in a natural stand for a particular trait of interest and then going through a recurrent process of breeding and testing is actually what’s known as Tran provement tree improvement programs have been around for decades and typically especially when they were first started the focus was on improving for trades involved in timber production so the interest was in selecting for growth or form but with this onslaught of invasives I think that provides an argument for us to reinvigorate tree improvement programs and the infrastructure that it takes so that we can apply those same principles and concepts to selecting and breeding for resistant trees and not just focusing on timber production so this slide is depicting that process we’re in the first generation of selection breeding and testing a seed orchard is developed and

that produces improved seedlings much like how I tried to diagram in my cartoons just before but you can also then select from those seedlings recurrently and then start a second generation so again each generation you’re continuing to enrich for the trait of interest in being resistance in this case so applied tree improvements or breeding is a great way to combat invasive threats by enriching host resistance and again this is not something that we’re inventing this is an old process it’s been around for a long time but with new threats we can apply those same methods the genetics theories and concepts that have been being utilized through tree improvement programs have been proven to be successful so this is an approach we know can work and as a matter of fact there’s 255 programs worldwide that are currently involved in breeding for insect or disease resistance in forestry species so post resistance is actually providing a solution to invasives that is what can be termed a green solution because we’re not using insecticides we’re not talking about GMOs or transgenics just accelerating nature through breeding select trees the other good thing about breeding programs is that it allows us to retain genetic diversity so when invasives are killing is such a huge proportion of the population that there’s very few members of the population left this is going to decrease your genetic diversity and that can lead to things such as inbreeding depression or genetic bottlenecks but in a breeding program you can take care to retain that genetic diversity and also retain the ability to adapt to the next threat the next invasive insect or pathogen or even the ability to adapt as climate change is impacting the environment and also this genetic diversity is important for durable population level resistance and to just a generally sustainable resilient population so with our approach to beach park disease we are taking a traditional tree improvement approach using a breeding strategy and so it’s the same steps that were outlined in the previous slides of selecting from a diverse stand for resistance to Beach Park disease breeding carrying out genetic studies to understand that it’s how its inherited and design the breeding program that’s needed to enrich the level of resistance and consistent testing to constantly verify and select for the best parents and all this leading to establishing seed orchards which can then produce enriched seed for for out plantings so the first step is selecting resistant germ plasm so just to touch on our program and how we’re accomplishing that we’re very fortunate that we’re working with a really strong network of collaborators and our collaborators are responsible for the most part for this step which is surveying for resistance so the the map that’s shown here is from the Hiawatha National Forest the areas in purple are areas where they have heavy each stands so when looking for resistance you’re gonna focus on areas with a high amount of each that we also know has been heavily impacted by Beach Park disease and our co-operators will then survey these areas looking for trees that have healthy crowns we focus on trees with the minimum diameter at breast height greater than nine inches and of course we want to identify any that are lacking any insect or disease symptoms and these would be our putative resistant trees once these surveys are conducted we train our partners on how to perform field screening to confirm that it is truly a snail resistant tree I’ve put a link up here for that we actually made as well as a publication on on the details of this method through the Journal of visualized experimentation so if anyone wants any additional details they’re all available there but just to summarize in the photos moving from left to right in the first step you are simply brushing scale eggs off of the tree and then you’re putting them on a foam pad and placing them to your test tree and then a year later you look on the far right you peel back the foam and in the picture is a susceptible tree and you can see that the insects have established underneath so once the trees have been confirmed to be resistant to the scale insect our partners collect cyan for us and this is shown on the left hand picture these are partners in the Pennsylvania Department

of Natural Resources and conservation so this is very laborious and by working with partners it really allows us to take a very cost-effective and efficient approach to getting through this whole breeding program the picture on the top shows the cut branches that are going to be shipped to us for grafting we also ask our partners to look for peach trees that are producing seed that we can use as root stock because we wanted to do our grafting as much as possible on to root stock that’s from the same region because we want to maintain the ability to adapt to that regional environment where the grafted feature eventually going to be planted so the roots are the scientists shipped to us and we grafted and it turns out that American beech is a difficult species to graft and previously published efforts at grafting Beach reported variable success and it ranged from about twelve to thirty percent and it wasn’t uncommon for long-term survival to not be very good either so my technician Dave Kerry actually went to hot callus grafting and it was an approach adapted that was first reported in filbert and using this approach we’ve been able to increase our success rate to up to 90 to 100 with our five-year average being about 67% the variation is due to genotype there are some genotypes where big graph very readily while others are more difficult but this technique has allowed us to graft a very diverse number of genotypes so unlike in the nursery industry where you might be selecting a tree because it is easily grafted we wanted to be able to include a lot of genotypes in this work in the picture you can see the basic concept is behind hot palace drafting is that heat cable that you can see running across the piece of wood in the front so this whole photo is taken inside of our cold room where the temperature is kept just above freezing so we’re keeping the rootstock and the Scion dormant and then the heat table just warms the draft at the graft union to stimulate growth and to stimulate production of a good union before the tree is breaking dormancy and sap flow starts to occur so it’s been very a very successful approach for us so next I wanted to talk about the next step in the process which would be breeding carrying out genetic studies and then testing genetic studies means that you have to be looking at families for patterns of heritability and you can do this looking at either full sibling families where you know the both the maternal parent and the paternal parents and in those cases you have to do controlled cross pollination or you can use past sibling families where you collect seedlings from a specific mother tree so you’ll only know the mother parents and the seedlings then are probably have multiple different fathers in that situation controlled cross-pollination so we started out doing the these directly in the natural forest where the resistant trees were found and that’s depicted in the slide on the left hand side and you can see the pollination bags that we put up there to prevent any pollen contaminants from when we actually applied the pollen from our unknown father onto the flowers of that female we also can do process on containerized grass and that’s shown in the middle photo so what we discovered is that when we have scion that was already programmed the buds are already going to produce flowers they will still produce healthy viable flowers that are capable of producing seed even after being drafted and when we can baby goes along and give them great fertilizer and water and whatnot they actually produce really nice crops of seed with a really successful germination rate and then the ultimate Bolden is on the right-hand side where you want to be able to have a breeding population or seed orchard setting that’s a little bit easier to work in than your natural forests for producing controlled cross-pollination for studies in our first attempts when we were doing our crosses in the the natural forests we were able to generate two full sibling families that are shown at the top in blue we did a cross between two resistant parents and also a cross between a resistant and the susceptible parent we also collected open pollinated seedlings from all the pollinated seen I mean from a couple of different susceptible trees and from a resistant tree and the tree that’s

listed at the bottom here known as the main tree it’s also resistant parent tree the stand that it was located in was actually managed for to enrich for resistance similar to the cartoon slide that I showed where the managers went in and removed all the diseased trees so this tree theoretically would have only resistant fathers around in the stand surrounding it that would be capable of pollinating it so we collected all these seeds germinated them grew up the seedlings and the next step is to test those seedlings and we’re located in Delaware Ohio and we do not yet have a natural scale population it has not hit us yet so we have been fortunate enough to partner with the Holden Arboretum and we have our scale skeet screening facility low gated up in north eastern ohio where they do have the scale insect and that photo of that facility is shown here so it’s been a really nice partnership to have they’ve been a very helpful partner the process for testing the ceilings is similar to that of testing the trees in the field and again all the details are in that video and publication I referred to earlier basically you start by collecting eggs off of an infested tree we actually will sieve the eggs to remove to purify just eggs away from the adult insects and any debris that was collected and the bottom left picture shows the adult scale insects with you can see a chain of these oval sort of oblong tiny shaped eggs the females are rounder than they were in the first slide and that’s because they’re full of eggs at this point so we use microscopes to actually count out 150 eggs and we put them on a smaller piece of foam and we have fixed it to the seedling and we cover it with tie back so that as we’re watering the seedlings throughout the season we don’t excessively wet the foam and promote fungal growth that can kill the snail insects and a year later we come back and remove the scale the pads we count the number of scale insects on both the pad and the seedling and in the center picture you can see it’s pretty obvious the trees that are resistant failed to develop a scale population while the susceptible trees do in the bottom left picture I show a highly susceptible tree so I just want to point out that within the susceptibles we see an array of susceptibility those that are just maybe more tolerant or just slightly susceptible which have a support a lower level population and those where the scale just completely takes off and in the bottom right mrs show you a picture of an adult that was pulled off with the pad and you can also see how she’s secreting that waxy substance around her and laying her eggs right into that so our first genetic studies are summarized in this slide going from left to right we are looking first at 1510 which is a susceptible tree this is the open pollinated population and 1506 both of which are open pollen open pollinated half-sibling families from these susceptible trees and the blue bar is representing the proportion of resistance and you can see we’re right between about that one in five percent that is estimated to occur as sort of your background level of resistance when we collected see links to a resistant tree the next one over 1504 we see a slight increase in resistance but again this tree even though it’s open pollinated most of the pollinated most of the trees around it are susceptible so most of the pollen parents would have looked would have been other susceptible trees so it’s not surprising that only actually did a controlled cross between a susceptible and resistant we’re seeing about the same a little bit better than in the open pollinated resistant tree and then when we look at 1505 by 1504 the two resistant trees that were crossed together this full sibling family we’re trying to approach 1550 percent resistance in this population and the main tree is that stand in Maine the resistant parent where all of the that is located in the stand where the other trees were removed that were diseased and susceptible or even approaching 60 percent resistance so when we are crossing two resistant trees and in the situation with mean it’s multiple different resistant pollen donors we’re seeing a great increase or

a great enrichment and the proportion of aces to individuals and the results in progeny so that main open pollinated family gives evidence but in that particular stand cell the culture alone the removal of the susceptible trees is leaving behind enough trees that are close enough together to cross-pollinate to just then naturally in the next generation create an enriched population that’s enriched for resistance in other cases but the success of that approach is going to depend on again the number of resistant individuals that are left behind and how close in proximity they are so the next step in the process now that we’ve done the genetic studies and confirmed that we can improve and enrich resistance through breeding just by pulling together resistant parents is to start establishing seed orchards so again we want to focus on retaining genetic variation and this slide is just showing the impact of a different number of an increasing number of selections on the x-axis in either genetic gain depicted by the black line or I’m sorry genetic gain is the blue line or genetic variation which is in the black line so to further illustrate this if we’re down at about five different clones we’re getting only thirty percent of the genetic diversity of the population but that’s a ninety percent gain so if we’re picking the five best clones that are highly resistant we’re gonna capture thirty percent of the diversity or a thirty birth only 30% of the population diversity but we’ve really made a big jump in in the genetic game as far as the enrichment of resistance if we go down here to about thirty clones when we follow the line up we’re capturing about 90% of the diversity of that population ninety ninety-five percent so we’re typically only going to be losing out on the more rare alleles with thirty different selections and we’re still able to obtain a pretty decent amount of genetic gain about seventy percent so our goal when we’re developing our seed orchards is to get between 25 and 30 clones so that we’re preserving 90 to 95% of the genetic diversity of the population per region and I want to stress per region we’re not talking about 25 or 30 clones that are going to be used to populate the entire range of American beach because we want to make sure within that variation is that adaptive capacity that those trees have developed to adapt and grow in the region that they’re in so we’re gonna returning them to their region so in each region we want to get 25 or 30 resistant clones we propagate 8 to 15 copies or remnants of each of those clones and whenever possible it’s good to have a second replication of your seed orchard of another site because you never know if something else is gonna happen we actually had a tornado hit one of our plantings it was a nash planting but it’s always good to have replication which also allows you to kind of assess how they’re doing even in different growing environments so at this point this slide is showing all the different seed orchards that we have either in progress those are the stars that are in yellow or the different seed orchards that are near completion and those are the stars that are in black so if you look in Pennsylvania we have two seed orchards those are replicate seed orchards that are almost completed and then we’re starting to work in areas like Vermont’s West Virginia we have a replicated seed orchard in the lower Prince of Michigan that’s replicated at Purdue University in Indiana with materials that are collected actually from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so we’re really starting to get progress and and hoping that soon these seed orchards will be producing seed this slide is showing a picture of a seed orchard at the Holden Arboretum so the first family is that I showed the data on those seedlings were planted in a research planting at Holden and we were able to then correlate their initial seedling screen phenotype with their performance after they’ve been growing in the field for about 10 years and so we show that that ceiling screen is actually pretty effective in predicting how they perform even when they’re growing outside and a plantation like what’s shown in the picture and over the long term we’ll be able to evaluate the

durability of resistance and on the left-hand side one of our collaborators from Michigan Roger Mack is standing in front of one of our resistant selections but Holden has also now committed to they’ve gone in and removed their susceptible trees of all of those families and we’re working with them to increase the diversity by adding new selections to this this planting so once these trees start to produce seed and we’re also using those containerized seed orchards to do a bunch of crosses and produce seedlings to provide material for out planting and this is the the we’re just at the beginning phases of being able to have enough material that’s enriched for resistance to start some doing out plantings and at this point we actually only have one and that’s shown in this picture our partners of Michigan Department of Natural Resources planted 138 ceilings about half of which are resistant to Beach Park disease back in 2011 at a site that was heavily impacted you can see some of the downbeats trees and in the background there by beach heart disease so at this point we know we have about 80% survival of those ceilings and then we’re going to be working with them to track their progress and to try and identify ways learn more about what it’s going to take to get these seedlings back out in the forest so I’ve mentioned my partners several times and I just put together this slope flow chart to give a summary of sort of the network the tree improvement cooperative that we’ve put together and if there’s anyone listening that would be interested in participating with their forest that has a beach heart disease problem please feel free to contact us again our state and national forest partners are doing the surveying in the field they’re testing the field collecting a scion and then we at the northern research station are actually doing the grafting the breeding and the genetic tests the OU controversy tortured has also joined us in helping us with the grafting efforts we carry out the testing with our partner Holden Arboretum once we have the grafts available they go out to our partners to establish the regional seed orchards we’ll help them with that process and with designing this seed orchard but then after that they take care of all of the maintenance and upkeep of the seed orchards and eventually once the seed orchards are producing seed they will then distribute seed to their state and national forest nurseries for germination to produce these seedlings enrich for resistance that can be used to mount planting and then just to summarize again I wanted to point out this idea of using breeding to improve post resistance is not a new concept and it’s something that can be applied to other invasive species issues and just to review some of the pros it may be the only feasible solution and you think of chestnut like for example and through a breeding program you can actually help with conservation of a species preventing it from becoming extinct as well as the other species that may depend on that species I know in the case of chess that there was different moth species that were documented to go extinct after the decline of chestnut there’s a proven record of success of this approach public support is usually pretty strong because it’s that green solution it’s sustainable little or no side effects on the con side resistance is not it can sometimes be very rare with beech that 1 to 5% is actually more on the high side so it can be pretty labor-intensive to identify that resistance obviously this is a longer term approach when you’re talking about breeding so it’s going to require a long term investment and sometimes their level of resistance is not as strong as the phenotypes that we see in each birth disease so it requires more complex reading strategy to increase that resistance so sometimes there’s an uncertain outcome but overall I would say that it is an approach where the pros are outweighing the cons and that is where I was going to end again I want I’m just acknowledging the fact that we have a huge network of collaborators that have helped us with all this work I acknowledge our our funding sources that none of this would have been possible without and then in the photo the picture of all the members of my lab group so I would be ready to take any questions now if there are any well thank you Jennifer we do have a question dr. Sadoff said given that the scales are in mobile is there a chance they

could eventually adapt to the host plant resistance you select for in your orchards do you think that having regional seed orchards at with 30 plus resistant lines could reduce the chances of this happening yeah that is definitely one of the reasons why we want to make sure we’re retaining genetic diversity this is not a single gene resistant trait we have done some work with mapping and identifying different regions of the genome that are associated with the resistance trait and so we’ve identified two major gene loci in at least three minor gene loci and that’s just in a single mapping family so given the variation in our phenotypes of susceptibility to resistance and we even see variation in the resistant you know type and that some some trees we see no adults establishing other resistant trees the adults can establish but they fail to reproduce and then eventually die off so keeping that variation helps prevent that insect from overcoming the resistance okay that seems to be the only question we have at this point I but I am kind of interested when you’re talking about starting these that the tree improvement programs is what is the main kind of reason that they that they kind of died out or aren’t doing anymore is it because of funding or you know is this something that somehow we could you know people that are doing research on this could somehow find ways to have more co-operators or what what do you see is some of the ways we could see more of these tree improvement programs starting um yeah I think the tree improvement programs were sort of driven by the economy and it was a driven it was a commodity so timber is a commodity and of course the Forest Service and other federal agencies were supporting tree improvement programs but a lot of the big cooperatives were groups of industries working with universities and other researchers so one of the problems was that the investment it wasn’t always necessarily giving you more about earning potential on your product so that led to the decline and then just the general sort of decline in federal funding I think over the years has always also contributed to that decline now the problem with invasive species especially when you’re talking about a tree like beets or butternut or some of those where you lack a specific market and you don’t have that commodity piece to it then yeah it’s gonna depend a lot on government funding or organizations like the American chestnut foundation that have private donors so I would say that people that are interested in supporting it one of the best things to do would be probably you know contacts Forest Service officials let them know you think it’s an important approach let your congressmen know to support reading okay that’s that’s good I’m just kind of wondering about that you know because of the ash tree you know everyone is talking about ash trees going extinct but we’re still like you say we’re finding some of these you know ash trees that are a little more resistant than others and you know thinking about that too because I mean like we all kind of know this mean this probably is not going to be the last invasive wood-boring problem or disease that’s going to happen um so you know this has been very interesting for me especially you know seeing the how you build this program and everything but like you say it just it’s just the time and the money this kind of looks like those are kind a couple of limiting factors as many things are with these kind of you know issues so well a couple of things but from the time we started working with beech to the time that we started actually getting those seed orchards established was about 10 years so when you think about how long emerald ash borer has been here now if we had been taking a genetic approach the whole time we might be farther along but I can tell you we are actually working with ash and

we are breeding and you know applying the same process to it so it’s not necessarily always the slowest process it just isn’t a good fit with your typical three to five year grant cycles so it can be kind of tricky to piece together that continuous funding to support that kind of work that’s good to know that’s interesting I just wanted to let you people know that there is the survey for the EAB University I’ve put that up that’s probably not going to be a live link for you but I just wondered if you wanted to copy it down that’s fine again I will be sending out this link in an email that will be so the link will be live that you can get into the survey and let us know what you think is there any other questions while I’m while we’re here we’ve got a couple more minutes but if there’s not I don’t want to take up too many you know too much time for everyone but I wanted to thank you Jennifer this has been very interesting as all these EAB University webinars are for me it just kind of shows me a whole other way of how folks are trying to deal with some of these problems that are going on our wetlands and for us and you know urban urban forestry you know that kind of thing so if there if I see something is here one more thing here I see someone in Cliff I said thank you so much for for your presentation thanks for having me yeah and with that I guess unless you can always get a hold of Jennifer I’ll send out her email as well if you have questions afterwards but I wanted to thank everyone for participating I’m sure we’re gonna see more folks looking at the recorded webinar and um next we’re gonna our next webinar is going to be February imma grab my calendar here real quick is going to be February 11th at 11 a.m. all our webinars are on the emerald ash borer info website as far as what’s going to be presented and when so I you know encourage you to look at those two thanks again and I will be closing the meeting thanks for havin