7.02.05 - Rusts of forest trees



Publication alert: Genome sequences of six Phytophthora species threatening forest ecosystems

The Phytophthora genus comprises of some of the most destructive plant pathogens and attack a wide range of hosts including economically valuable tree species, both angiosperm and gymnosperm. Many known species of Phytophthora are invasive and have been introduced through nursery and agricultural trade. As part of a larger project aimed at utilizing genomic data for forest disease diagnostics, pathogen detection and monitoring (The TAIGA project: Tree Aggressors Identification using Genomic Approaches; http://taigaforesthealth.com/), the genomes of six important Phytophthora species were sequenced that are important invasive pathogens of trees and a serious threat to the international trade of forest products. This genomic data was used to develop highly sensitive and specific detection assays and for genome comparisons and to make evolutionary inferences and will be useful to the broader plant and tree health community.


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Pascal Frey, France


Bruce Moltzan, United States

Philippe Tanguay, Canada

About Unit

Our Working Party aims to bring together scientists and investigators working on tree rusts. Our goal is to foster scientific discussion and exchanges relating to tree rust epidemiology, biology, host-pathogen interactions, resistance, control and management, and genomics. Our working group meets approximately once every 4 years in locations in Europe, North America or Asia. We usually meet in locations that allow us to discuss our scientific findings and have field trips in a friendly and relaxed environment which is conducive to exchanges and debates. We want to place a strong emphasis on participation of young investigators and students, as these meetings provide unique experiences to meet and exchange with the related community.

State of Knowledge

This Working Proup has always had a strong component related to taxonomy, epidemiology, biology, and resistance of rust. This working group has been traditionally strongly attended by the pine rusts community, but has recently become much broader, with sessions on rusts of angiosperms as well as other conifers. In the last two meetings, there was strong representation of groups working on genomics of rusts and rust interaction with their host. With the recent completion of the genome sequence of the poplar rust (Melampsora larici-populina) and the future sequencing of fusiform rust (Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme), we expect this trend to become even stronger. The integration of genomics, epidemiology, taxonomy, host-pathogen interaction and breeding is most likely the trend of the future.