Ash trees are one of the most common species found in Britain, with an estimated population of 100 million. Ash dieback, a fungal disease that proceeded to kill tens of millions of trees, arrived in the UK in 2012. Ash trees are an important economical resource (timber), act as habitats for many wildlife species, and are important in the wider role played by all trees in the sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For these reasons, understanding how the disease impacts the trees and how it can be prevented from damaging them, is an important body of research.
This webinar will cover technologies and techniques used by Richard Buggs and his team to understand the genetic diversity of ash trees, the genetic loci associated with the ash dieback fungus, and the genetic differences between trees affected by the fungus and those not affected. Also outlined is how these genetic differences can be applied to selective breeding programs to produce trees that are resistant to ash dieback disease, plus the development of a model for the prediction of ash tree health.