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Advanced spectroscopy-based phenotyping offers a potential solution to the ash dieback epidemic

Affiliation
Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, 201 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, 43210, Columbus, Ohio, United States ; 2Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia, 180 E Green Street, 30602, Athens, Georgia, United States
Villari, Caterina;
Affiliation
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR 0588 BioForA, 2163 Avenue de la Pomme de Pin, 45075, Orléans Cedex 2, France
Dowkiw, Arnaud;
GND
1093413204
Affiliation
Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg, Department Forest Protection, Wonnhaldestrasse 4, 79100, Freiburg, Germany ; Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Forests, Brunswick, Germany
Enderle, Rasmus;
Affiliation
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Sundsvägen 3, 23053, Alnarp, Sweden
Ghasemkhani, Marjan;
Affiliation
Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection (IFFF), Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190, Vienna, Austria
Kirisits, Thomas;
Affiliation
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958, Frederiksberg C., Denmark
Kjær, Erik D.;
Affiliation
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Liepu 1, LT53101, Girionys, Kaunas district, Lithuania
Marčiulynienė, Diana;
Affiliation
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958, Frederiksberg C., Denmark.
McKinney, Lea V.;
Affiliation
Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg, Department Forest Protection, Wonnhaldestrasse 4, 79100, Freiburg, Germany
Metzler, Berthold;
Affiliation
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR 0588 BioForA, 2163 Avenue de la Pomme de Pin, 45075, Orléans Cedex 2, France
Muñoz, Facundo;
Affiliation
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958, Frederiksberg C., Denmark
Nielsen, Lene R.;
Affiliation
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Liepu 1, LT53101, Girionys, Kaunas district, Lithuania
Pliūra, Alfas;
Affiliation
SKOGFORSK - The Forest Research Institute, Ekebo 2250, 26890, Svalöv, Sweden.
Stener, Lars-Göran;
Affiliation
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Liepu 1, LT53101, Girionys, Kaunas district, Lithuania
Suchockas, Vytautas;
Affiliation
Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Parker Food Science and Technology, 2015 Fyffe Road, 43210, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Rodriguez-Saona, Luis;
Affiliation
Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, 201 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, 43210, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Bonello, Pierluigi;
Affiliation
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Sundsvägen 3, 23053, Alnarp, Sweden
Cleary, Michelle

Natural and urban forests worldwide are increasingly threatened by global change resulting from human-mediated factors, including invasions by lethal exotic pathogens. Ash dieback (ADB), incited by the alien invasive fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has caused large-scale population decline of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) across Europe, and is threatening to functionally extirpate this tree species. Genetically controlled host resistance is a key element to ensure European ash survival and to restore this keystone species where it has been decimated. We know that a low proportion of the natural population of European ash expresses heritable, quantitative resistance that is stable across environments. To exploit this resource for breeding and restoration efforts, tools that allow for effective and efficient, rapid identification and deployment of superior genotypes are now sorely needed. Here we show that Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy of phenolic extracts from uninfected bark tissue, coupled with a model based on soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA), can robustly discriminate between ADB-resistant and susceptible European ash. The model was validated with populations of European ash grown across six European countries. Our work demonstrates that this approach can efficiently advance the effort to save such fundamental forest resource in Europe and elsewhere.

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License Holder: The Author(s) 2018

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