Prof Lori Eckhardt from the Faculty of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Science of the Auburn University, Alabama, and her MSc student Andrea Cole recently visited FABI to learn more about Sirex noctilio. Andrea has started a project on native and potential Siricids in Alabama and wanted to expand her practical and molecular knowledge in the field of Sirex. During their visit Andrea practiced how to dissect Sirex wasps, isolate the Amylostereum areolatum fungal symbiont and the Deladenus siricidicola parasitic nematode. She also isolated wasp, fungal and nematode material from older preserved specimens to extract DNA. From these extracts she could successfully amplify barcoding regions that would help identify the species. She would be using similar tools during her study. Lori already has strong ties to FABI to work on Ophiostomatoid fungi associated with bark beetles. This visit will strengthen those ties and help to expand them to also include future collaborations on Sirex.

Photo: Andrea Cole doing nematode isolations from Sirex wasps.