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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 #443283

Research Project: Assessing the Risk of Rapid Ohia Death to New Zealand and the South Pacific

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-018-014-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Nov 9, 2022
End Date: Nov 8, 2024

Preliminary screening has shown promising variation in the susceptibility of New Zealand (NZ) native Metrosideros excelsa to rapid ohia death (ROD) inoculations. The objective of this project plan is to send additional NZ native Metrosideros species to Hawaii to be screened with the two Ceratocystis species causing ROD.

Formal collaboration has been established and protocols for testing susceptibility of New Zealand plant species have been agreed upon. Seeds of selected plant species will be shipped to Hawaii for establishment and start of evaluation for susceptibility to ROD. Seeds will be propagated in the greenhouse and pathogenicity experiments will be conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of Metrosideros species seedlings to Ceratocystis infection. Disease symptoms and mortality will be observed and compared with Metrosideros polymorpha positive controls. At the end of each test, inoculated Metrosideros species will be dissected and internal discoloration and aleurioconidia production will be measured.