Ash dieback - research, funding and policy news: 18 September 2013

19th Sep 2013

Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus, the causal agent of European ash dieback

The ascomycete Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (anamorph Chalara fraxinea) causes a lethal disease known as ash dieback on Fraxinus excelsior and Fraxinus angustifolia in Europe. The pathogen was probably introduced from East Asia and the disease emerged in Poland in the early 1990s, and the subsequent epidemic is spreading to the entire native distribution range of the host trees. This pathogen profile represents a comprehensive review of the state of research from the discovery of the pathogen and points out knowledge gaps and research needs.


Public asked to help in long-term monitoring of Chalara

A “citizen science” project to help identify Chalara-resistant ash trees has been launched by the University of East Anglia. It is asking members of the public to monitor trees’ long-term health by tagging both diseased and healthy individuals with a unique ID number, then submitting images over a period of years.


Suffolk: Ash survival hopes as tree disease spreads

The march of ash dieback through Suffolk’s tree population is now evident for all to see, wildlife bosses have said. But while Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) holds out little hope for any of their important reserves remaining Chalara free, they now believe that the fungus is less deadly than previously reported.


Gamers to join ash dieback fight-back

Let scientists keep the lab coat, goggles and pipette. Playing a Facebook game as simple as Candy Crush is enough to take part in active research to help save the ash tree.

In December 2012, scientists from The Sainsbury Laboratory hired Sheffield-based gaming company Team Cooper to develop “Fraxinus”. The game uses real genetic data from the fungus which causes Chalara ash dieback and from the common ash, Fraxinus excelsior. It involves matching and rearranging patterns of coloured leaf shapes which represent “nucleotides” – the letters that make up a genome sequence. People are better at this than computers alone, because the human eye can recognise patterns that computers miss.

Play the Fraxinus Facebook game.


Ash disease found in Somerset

A case of the tree disease Chalara, also known as ash dieback, has been confirmed in woodland in Somerset, near Minehead.Somerset is the 15th county in England where Chalara has been discovered in the wider environment (forests and woodland); the other counties are Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Devon, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Dorset and Northumberland.


Ash disease found in Leicestershire

The tree disease Chalara, also known as ash dieback has been confirmed in woodland in Leicestershire, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch.


‘Killer’ Ash disease found in woodland near Dorchester

A case of the tree disease Chalara, also known as ash dieback, has been confirmed in woodland near Dorchester. Dorset is the 13th county in England where Chalara has been discovered in forests and woodland.


Devon farmer says ash dieback ‘spreading’ in older trees

An outbreak of ash dieback in Devon is spreading further in older woodland, a farmer whose land is at the centre of the episode claims.


Recent posts on the OpenAshDieback crowdsourcing hub:

Assessing the origin of the UK Ash dieback pathogen

The top 100 ranked C. fraxinea candidate effector tribes

Mining for putative effectors in the Chalara fraxinea KW1 genome

Six new RNAseq datasets from Chalara fraxinea cultures and detection of mitoviruses infecting Chalara fraxinea

mRNA-Seq analysis of Tree 35


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