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Title: Fungi and their potential as biological control agents of Beech Bark Disease
Author: Thomas, Sarah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7168
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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Beech bark disease (BBD) is an invasive insect and pathogen disease complex that is currently devastating American beech (Fagus grandifolia) in North America. The disease complex consists of the sap-sucking scale insect, Cryptococcus fagisuga and sequential attack by Neonectria fungi (principally Neonectria faginata). The scale insect is not native to North America and is thought to have been introduced there on seedlings of F. sylvatica from Europe. Conventional control strategies are of limited efficacy in forestry systems and removal of heavily infested trees is the only successful method to reduce the spread of the disease. However, an alternative strategy could be the use of biological control, using fungi. Fungal endophytes and/or entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) could have potential for both the insect and fungal components of this highly invasive disease. Over 600 endophytes were isolated from healthy stems of F. sylvatica and 13 EPF were isolated from C. fagisuga cadavers in its centre of origin. A selection of these isolates was screened in vitro for their suitability as biological control agents. Two Beauveria and two Lecanicillium isolates were assessed for their suitability as biological control agents for C. fagisuga and nine Trichoderma isolates were screened for their antagonistic ability against Neonectria spp. Colonisation of beech saplings with Beauveria, Lecanicillium and Trichoderma isolates was attempted using three inoculation techniques.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Beech Bark Disese ; endophytes ; entomopathogens