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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Research Project #431927

Research Project: Rapid 'Ohi'a Death: Ceratocystis Species Killing Metrosideros polymorpha in Hawaii

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-017-007-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 10, 2017
End Date: Mar 10, 2021

The objective of the project is to determine the etiology and epidemiology of Rapid O’hi’a Death (ROD) in order to develop effective detection and management protocols for ROD and other diseases caused by Ceratocystis species.

Research will develop rapid, accurate and reproducible methods to detect Ceratocystis in environmental for effective disease detection, as well as to facilitate the other areas of pathology research. Rapid methods will be helpful for early diagnosis and detection of the pathogen and for tracing the pathogen distribution. Research will facilitate the understanding of the genetic basis of Ceratocystis host specificity and the genetic basis of host resistance to Ceratocystis. In order to limit spread of Rapid 'Ohi'a Death (ROD), the epidemiology of the disease has to be fully understood. This includes the patterns and mechanisms of entry of the pathogen into 'Ohi'a trees and the subsequent infection and expression of the disease. In addition, information on Ceratocystis spore viability in wood and in nursery seedlings under different environmental conditions is critical to limit movement of specific commodities from Hawaii Island.