CFAES News: Will It Live or Die? Researchers Develop Biomarkers to Manage Impact of Sudden Oak Death

April 12, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- April 11, 2014 Ohio State University researchers have developed a way to predict the resistance or susceptibility of trees tosudden oak death disease, providing forest managers with the first effective method to manage trees in infested natural areas and in adjoining areas where the disease is expected in the future.

A forest disease caused by the invasive fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, sudden oak death was first detected in California in 1995. It has since killed millions of tanoaks and trees of several oak species on the West Coast. It is also a potential threat to the valuable Eastern oak species, some of which are known to be highly susceptible to the disease.

“This is the first time anyone has been able to come up with a method to predict resistance to a forest tree disease in natural populations in the field,” said Pierluigi Bonello, a plant pathologist with the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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