Biological control; Chestnut blight; Cryphonectria parasitica; European chestnut; Castanea sativa; hypovirus; population biology
Akilli S, Serce CU, Katircioglu YZ, Maden S, Rigling D (2013), Characterization of hypovirulent isolates of the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica from the Marmara and Black Sea regions of Turkey, in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PATHOLOGY
, 135(2), 323-334.
Prospero Simone, Lutz Andi, Tavadze Bidzina, Supatashvili Archil, Rigling Daniel (2013), Discovery of a new gene pool and a high genetic diversity of the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica in Caucasian Georgia, in Infection, Genetics and Evolution
, 20, 131-139.
Risteski M., Milev M., Rigling D., Milgroom MG., Bryner SF., Sotirovski K. (2013), Distribution of chestnut blight and diversity of Cryphonectria parasitica in chestnut forests in Bulgaria, in Forest Pathology
, 43, 437-443.
Bryner S. F., Sotirovski K., Akilli S., Risteski M., Perlerou C., Rigling D. (2013), Informative value of canker morphology on the presence or absence of virus infection in chestnut blight cankers, in Forest Pathology
, 43, 496-504.
Ježić Marin, Krstin Ljiljana, Rigling Daniel, Curković-Perica Mirna (2012), High diversity in populations of the introduced plant pathogen, Cryphonectria parasitica, due to encounters between genetically divergent genotypes., in Molecular Ecology
, 21(1), 87-99.
Rigling Daniel, Bryner Sarah Franziska (2012), Hypovirus virulence and vegetative incompatibility in populations of the chestnut blight fungus., in Phytopathology
, 102(12), 1161-1167.
Bryner Sarah F, Rigling Daniel, Brunner Patrick C (2012), Invasion history and demographic pattern of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 across European populations of the chestnut blight fungus., in Ecology and evolution
, 2(12), 3227-41.
Krstin L, Novak-Agbaba S, Rigling D, Curkovic-Perica M (2011), Diversity of vegetative compatibility types and mating types of Cryphonectria parasitica in Slovenia and occurrence of associated Cryphonectria hypovirus 1, in PLANT PATHOLOGY
, 60(4), 752-761.
Sotirovski K, Rigling D, Heiniger U, Milgroom MG (2011), Variation in virulence of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 in Macedonia, in FOREST PATHOLOGY
, 41(1), 59-65.
Jezic Marin, Krstin Ljiljana, Poljak Igor, Liber Zlatko, Idzojtic Marilena, Jelic Marija, Mestrovic Jasenka, Zebec Marko, Curkovic-Perica Mirna, Castanea sativa: genotype-dependent recovery from chestnut blight, in Tree Genetics and Genomes
Biological control is a highly desirable means of pest and disease management in natural and managed forest ecosystems. This control method depends on the invasion of a pest population by a biocontrol agent (e.g. a hyperparasite), which ideally can spread and establish in a self-sustainable way.Chestnut blight caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica is an introduced disease responsible for a widespread decline of European chestnut (Castanea sativa) across its distribution range. C. sativa is an important multipurpose tree species in many rural areas. Wood is used for fuel, timber, poles, stackes, and as a natural source of tannins, while fruits are used for food - directly or manufactured, as well as for feeding live-stock. Tanning and food industry depend on the supply of these raw materials from chestnut trees. Because C. parasitica is regulated as a quarantine organism in Europe, its presence in a country also affects trading of chestnut plants and wood. Cryphonectria hypovirus1 (CHV-1) is a fungal dsRNA virus that infects C. parasitica and has the potential to be used as a biological control agent of the disease. The hypovirus can be transmitted from infected to non-infected C. parasitica strains via hyphal anastomoses that are formed between vegetatively compatible strains. The virus is vertically transmited into asexual conidia, but not into sexual ascospores. The invasion of C. parasitica populations by the hypovirus appears to be highly influenced by the population biology of the fungus. Spread is favoured by low diversity of vegetative compatibility (vc) types and limited sexual reproduction. Therefore, the information and understanding of the population structure and epidemiology of C. parasitica and the hypovirus is important for the success of biological control of chestnut blight. CHV-1 has been naturally established in some areas in Europe, for example in the Ticino. Chestnut blight has been managed with variable success in other areas e.g. North of the Alps in Switzerland, by means of artificially introducing CHV-1 into C. parasitica populations. In previous SCOPES projects we investigated the diversity of vc types, mating types and naturally occuring hypoviruses in Croatia and Macedonia, which provides the basis for selection of fungal host strains and hypovirus isolates to be used for biological control in the region. In this project, we will extend our investigations to Georgia, a country with large natural chestnut forests, which have been affected recently by chestnut blight. The main objective of the research in Georgia will be to investigate the distribution of chestnut blight and to characterize the resident C. parasitica population. Since up to date, chestnut blight has not been studied in the Caucasus, our results will be an important contribution to the current knowledge of C. parasitica on European chestnut and will provide the basis for biological control of the diseases in this region. In Croatia and Switzerland, detailed population analyses will be conducted by using neutral microsatellite markers, which will enable a more deepened insight into the population biology and colonization history of C. parasitica. Additional studies in Macedonia, Croatia, and Switzerland will be directed to the implementation of biological control. In this research, we will evaluate novel application methods and perform practical biological control experiments in collaboration with end users.This project will allow the continuation and strengthening of established partnerships with research groups in Macedonia and Croatia. Moreover, the network will be expanded to Georgia, which can directly benefit from our growing experience on this serious tree disease. The funds will be used for equipment and consumables, individual grants and for exchange visits and training of young scientists.