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Barnes, Ann; Gottsberger, Richard; Persen, Ulrike; Leichtfried, Thomas; Heugens, Kurt; Douanla-Meli, Clovis; Simoni, Sauro; de Andrade, Eugenia
Cryphonectria parasitica is a devastating plant pathogen infecting chestnuts (Castanea spp.). The long-distance spread of C. parasitica is thought to occur through the movement of infected plants for planting, bark or wood material. There is evidence of a long latent period on infected plants. Long latent periods are problematic as affected trees do not show symptoms for some time and are being shipped to previously non-affected areas. Plants for planting were emphasized as the highest risk pathway for entry of the pathogen into protected zones, therefore a robust, sensitive detection method to screen for latent infections of planting material is required to support plant health inspection and potential certification regimes. This project was the result of a collaboration between specialists of Cryphonectria parasitica disease in Castanea spp. The CPARA project aimed to support the diagnosis of C. parasitica in plants for planting, with a focus on latent infections. The project contributed to:
- Development of a diagnostic protocol for the detection of C. parasitica in planting material. This included development of an extraction protocol, and comparison of published real-time PCR tests.
- Validation of the published real-time PCR test by Chandelier et al., (2019) for use on planting material to detect early infections before symptom expression.