Date: 16th June 2021
Title: Genetic control of pathogen resistance in forest trees
Location: Remotely via Zoom
Host: Anna Kärkönen
Abstract: Trees are expected to cope with the attack of multiple pathogens, often simultaneously during their long lifespan. However, the genetic and molecular mechanisms controlling this process are poorly understood. The work in our research group aim to improve the understanding of the interactions between the trees and pathogens and integrate knowledge on disease resistance into tree breeding and conservation programs.
The focus of the talk will be results from our work with the conifer Norway spruce (Picea abies) and the sympatric congeners Heterobasidion parviporum and Heterobasidion annosum s.s., two pathogenic fungi causing stem and root rot in Norway spruce. I will discuss the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying variation in resistance/susceptibility to these pathogens based on the results from linkage- and association genetic studies and our work to understand the function of identified candidate genes through combinations genetics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. I will also discuss the genetics underlying variation the assembly of the fungal communities inhabiting the Norway spruce phyllosphere.