Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

New warning over spread of ash dieback
by Staff Writers
Exeter UK (SPX) Oct 31, 2016

Ash dieback is a serious disease of ash trees which causes leaf loss and crown dieback, and usually kills affected trees.

The ash dieback fungus could spread more quickly and affect more trees than previously expected, according to research at the University of Exeter. Exeter scientists have discovered that asexual spores of the ash dieback fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) are infectious and can germinate on leaves or infect seedlings via soil.

It was previously thought that these spores could not germinate alone, and only functioned as the male part of sexual reproduction. This meant the fungus could only reproduce in part of its life cycle - on fallen leaves, usually in spring - but the asexual form is prolific in producing spores and can do so for much of the year.

The study, carried out as part of the Nornex consortium, funded by the BBSRC and DEFRA, and published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveals additional routes for the spread of the fungus, including by the transfer of soil between sites.

"It is important to know that if you've had ash trees in soil and you move that soil, you could be moving live fungus," said lead author Dr Helen Fones.

She added: "The life cycle of the fungus is different from what we thought.

It was believed that the fungus only multiplied by sexual reproduction but this is not the case, and this must now be taken into account in efforts to stop ash dieback."

Professor Sarah Gurr, who orchestrated this work at Exeter, said: "A greater understanding of the life cycle of this damaging pathogen will improve disease control strategies"

Asexual Hymenoscyphus fraxineus spores could perhaps be carried by wind, insects or water.

The finding that they can germinate on ash plants and in forest debris means more strains of the fungus can proliferate in any one cluster of ash trees than previously thought, increasing gene flow between the strains and possibly leading to faster fungal evolution.

It is possible that this could help the fungus evolve to attack new ash varieties or even other members of the Oleaceae family, which includes olive, jasmine, privet and lilac.

Ash dieback is a serious disease of ash trees which causes leaf loss and crown dieback, and usually kills affected trees.

The disease is spreading rapidly across Europe, and some experts have suggested the fungus - along with an invasive beetle called the emerald ash borer - could wipe out the trees entirely.

Research paper

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
University of Exeter
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
The fight against deforestation: Why are Congolese farmers clearing forest?
Leuven, Germany (SPX) Oct 26, 2016
Only a small share of Congolese villagers is the driving force behind most of the deforestation. They're not felling trees to feed their families, but to increase their quality of life. These findings are based on fieldwork by bioscience engineer Pieter Moonen from KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium. They indicate that international programmes aiming to slow down tropical deforestation ar ... read more

What happens when people are treated like pollution

Italy PM vows to rebuild quake region

Louvre could house treasures from Iraq, Syria: Hollande

Behind front lines, Iraq's devout food delivery army

With new model, buildings may 'sense' internal damage

3-D-printed permanent magnets outperform conventional versions, conserve rare materials

New tech uses electricity to track water, ID potential problems in concrete

Nickel-78 is a doubly magic isotope supercomputer confirms

Conundrum of missing iron in oxygen minimum zones solved

Researchers test shark detection sonar technology in Australia

Early Pacific seafarers likely latched onto El Nino and other climate patterns

Midwater ocean creatures use nanotech camouflage

Arctic found to play unexpectedly large role in removing nitrogen

Factors promoting growth of cryoconite granule formation and glacial-ice sheet melting

Nepal drains risky glacial lake near Everest

Long-Serving DSCS Satellite Takes Over Role of Linking Antarctic Researchers to the World

ChemChina extends Syngenta offer after EU launches probe

Researchers root for more cassava research

3,000 Italian farms 'need quake help'

The buzz about edible bugs: Can they replace beef

Italy's experts warn of more quakes

Hurricane Matthew damages in Haiti tally nearly $2 bn

Egypt floods killed at least 22: new toll

Italy in 'miraculous' earthquake escape

Elephant poaching costs Africa tourism $25mn: study

Burkina president calls on army to remain 'neutral'

Mediator talks with Mozambique opposition leader cancelled

Shabaab takes Somali town after Ethiopia troop pullout

Ancient human history more complex than previously thought

Europeans and Africans have different immune systems, and neanderthals are partly to thank

Study finds earliest evidence in fossil record for right-handedness

Extensive heat treatment in Middle Stone Age silcrete tool production in South Africa

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement