Navigation Links
UBC discovery unlocks tree genetics, gives new hope for pine beetle defense
Date:1/14/2008

UBC researchers have discovered some of the genetic secrets that enable pine and spruce trees to fight off pests and disease, uncovering critical new information about forests natural defense systems.

Assoc. Prof. Joerg Bohlmann says this genetic analysis will allow forest stewardship programs to reinforce a forests inherent strength, breeding trees that could in time repel insects such as British Columbias notorious mountain pine beetles.

Bohlmann and his research associate Christopher Keeling explored the genetic makeup of oleoresin within spruce, discovering a sophisticated ability to produce complex blends of chemicals that continuously evolve to protect the tree from changing conditions and challenges.

Conifers are some of the oldest and longest living plants on the planet, says Bohlmann. Weve opened the book to understanding how they can survive in one location for thousands of years despite attacks from generations of insects and diseases.

Their study examines the molecular biochemistry of conifers interacting with genomes of bark beetles and bark beetle-associated fungal pathogens. Bohlmanns study appears in todays edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Figuring out how these naturally occurring defenses work has important implications for the long-term sustainability and health of our forests, says Bohlmann, whos working with the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, the forestry industry and the Canadian Forest Service.

Bohlmann is also co-leader of the recently announced $4-million project that Genome BC and Genome Alberta is funding to investigate the mountain pine beetle infestation at the genomic level.

Insect pests and pathogens cause annual losses of billions of dollars to conifer-based forest economies in North America and Europe. In B.C., the mountain pine beetle epidemic has killed about 40 per cent of the pine forests since its first appearance in the mid 1990s.

This is the largest recorded bark beetle outbreak in Canada, leaving B.C. with 13 million hectares of grey and red dead pine an area four times the size of Vancouver Island and a volume of dead timber equivalent to 530 million telephone poles.

Bohlmann is leading UBCs and international research programs on forest health genomics. In 2006, Bohlmann and a team of international scientists completed the worlds first physical map and sequencing of a tree genome the third plant ever sequenced.

He is based at UBCs Michael Smith Laboratories, a multidisciplinary research facility. Bohlmann also holds teaching appointments in the departments of Botany and Forest Sciences and is an associate at UBCs Wine Research Centre.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lorraine Chan
lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
604-822-3213
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery may help defang viruses
2. Stomach stem cell discovery could bring cancer insights
3. Symposium marks 30th anniversary of discovery of third domain of life
4. Emory paleontologist reports discovery of carnivorous dinosaur tracks in Australia
5. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
6. Researchers discovery may lead to hypertension treatment
7. Yale discovery suggests protein may play a role in severe asthma
8. Galapagos and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announce drug discovery collaboration
9. Profound immune system discovery opens door to halting destruction of lupus
10. Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
11. New discovery could reduce the health risk of high-fat foods
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/27/2016)... Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, ... based in West Chester, Ohio ... award winning service staff, based in Austin, ... capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical ... Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of human interface solutions, today announced sampling ... controller solution for wearables and small screen applications ... such as printers. Supporting round and rectangular shapes, ... S1423 offers excellent performance with moisture on screen, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation (OTC Pink: BIEL), ... today that it is responding to a notice ... Securities and Exchange Commission posted on the agency ... of the Board of BioElectronics Corporation and the ... at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.   ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... has an active R&D program for the development ... the Group has a unique research and development center in ... developing Bio Control products. Stockton has ... and regulatory guidelines, and is active in more than 35 ... Stockton,s flagship product Timorex Gold ® ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- ATCC, the premier global biological materials resource and ... life science researchers that are working to address the ... CDC website . --> CDC website ... single-stranded RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus, ... Viruses. Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Morf ... today announced an interactive FDA compliance training course, Writing Effective ... Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available on smartphones and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: