Hooray for a pine needle fungal isolation jamboree! 2022-06-14
From 16 to 18 May a few members of the TPCP team, together with plant pathologist and FABI Colombian collaborator, Dr Carlos Rodas, engaged in a fungal isolation workshop. The aim was to twofold: i) to isolate Dothistroma and Lecanosticta species from infected Pinus needles collected by Dr Rodas from a number of different farms in Colombia, which have been greatly affected by disease in the past five years, and ii) to train students in how to isolate these fungi. Students who have never before isolated fungal species from pine needles were extensively taught by Prof. Irene Barnes and Dr Ariska van der Nest. Students learnt how to use different microscopes, how to identify different fungal species on the needles, how to differentiate between sexual and asexual states, and finally, how to isolate these fungi from the needles. By the end of the workshop, approximately 150 isolations of Dothistroma and Lecanosticta were made that will feed into student projects. The workshop was extremely informative and a great opportunity for students, staff and interns to learn and engage with one another. A special thanks to Dr Rodas for taking the time to extensively inform us on the current disease situation in Colombia and for enthusiastically engaging with everyone who attended the workshop.