Contributing to the USDA Beech Leaf Disease Workshop 2021-04-22
Beech Leaf Disease has become a great threat to Beech trees, specifically in North America. It causes necrotic leaf tissue and early leaf drop and bud abortion. The causal agent of this disease has recently been described in North America as the nematode Litylenchus crenatae mccannii. As part of her Postdoc under Dr. Jeremy Allison at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Ontario, Canada, Dr Katrin Fitza worked together with Dr. Sharon Reed from the Ontario Forestry Research Institute, to characterize the genetic diversity of L. crenatae mccannii and understand the invasion pathway of the nematode in Ontario, Canada. Due to the severity of the disease, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has hosted an international Beech Leaf Disease Workshop on 15 April. Dr. Katrin Fitza and other international speakers from Japan, Canada and the United States of America were given the opportunity to present on their work. The workshop was well attended virtually by some 300 participants and has already initiated new collaborations and research strategies.