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Developing a phenotyping tool for disease resistance in trees using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman spectroscopy

Anna Conrad: Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University

<div>Non-native and invasive plant pathogens are continuing to threaten the health and productivity of trees in natural ecosystems and commercial plantations. Few options currently exist for managing diseases caused by these organisms following their introduction and establishment. Identifying and breeding trees for resistance is one important management strategy, although it can be hindered by the long life cycles of trees and the lack of rapid phenotyping methods. Therefore, the objective of this study is to develop a phenotyping tool for disease resistance using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman spectroscopy combined with chemometric analysis. To test this phenotyping tool, we are focusing on two diseases: root rot and canker of <em>Chamaecyparis lawsoniana</em> (Port-Orford-cedar), caused by <em>Phytophthora lateralis</em>, and white pine blister rust of whitebark pine (<em>Pinus albicaulis</em>), caused by <em>Cronartium ribicola</em>. Using chemometric analysis, including partial least squares regression and soft independent modeling of class analogy, we are evaluating whether disease susceptibility can be predicted within and across families from different geographic origins. Our ultimate goal is to develop a protocol for the analysis of fresh plant tissues that can be used to more rapidly phenotype trees and facilitate the identification, preservation, and breeding of disease resistant trees.</div>