Mammoth inoculation trial of pine seedlings 2019-01-22
Late in 2018, 14 FABIans banded together for the mammoth task of inoculating and disease assessment of 6,360 Pinus patula seedlings with 159 Fusarium circinatum isolates. The FABIans involved in this project sacrificed time away from their December holidays, with work continuing past Christmas. These consisted of 106 South African isolates and 53 isolates having a global cosmopolitan distribution. The aim was to investigate the pathogenicity of these isolates that links into a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) project for FABI PhD student, Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry. The pathogenicity of F. circinatum in the different individuals will be used to determine if any variant is associated with pathogenicity. Genomic regions will be located and genes associated with pathogenicity identified. These results will aid tremendously in our understanding of the pitch canker disease with regards to pathogenicity, biology and genomic comparison of the fungus.