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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406263

Research Project: Plant-associated Nematode Management and Systematics and USDA Nematode Collection Curation

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Title: Cellular insights of beech leaf disease reveal abnormal ectopic cell division of symptomatic interveinal leaf areas

item Vieira, Paulo
item KANTOR, MIHAIL - Pennsylvania State University
item Jansen, Michael - Andrew
item Handoo, Zafar
item EISENBACK, JONATHAN - Virginia Tech

Submitted to: PLoS Pathogens
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The beech leaf disease nematode, Litylenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii, is recognized as a newly emergent nematode species that causes beech leaf disease (BLD) in beech trees (Fagus spp.) in North America. Changes of leaf morphology induced by BLD can provoke dramatic effects in tree health. The initial symptoms of BLD appear as dark green banding patterns on the leaf. To better understand the disease, we used several kinds of microscopy. Stained slices of the leaf tissue revealed dramatic changes in the nematode-infected tissues. This approach provided new insight into the development of the nematode feeding site, and it revealed several critical time periods to concentrate on for future studies of BLD. This information will be used by scientists looking for ways to control BLD.

Technical Abstract: Beech leaf disease (BLD) progression has accelerated in recent years in North America and has the potential to drastically alter these forest ecosystems. The beech leaf disease nematode, Litylenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii is currently recognized as the major causal agent of BLD. In this study, we captured the sequential, temporal cellular events associated with the development of BLD, and simultaneously attempted to postulate an in-depth, mechanistic overview of this disease. Our assessment via light and scanning electron microscopy revealed extensive cellular changes of nematode-infected buds and leaf tissues. Furthermore, we provide additional data regarding the life cycle of this species and its interaction with beech buds and leaves. This information is critical for the implementation of adequate protective measurements for potential monitoring, mitigation, and control of this disease.