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Sentinel nurseries and plantations, approaches to tackle invasive plant pathogens before they move from their area of origin: the study case of China.

Andrea Vannini: DIBAF-University of Tuscia

<div>Recent disease outbreaks caused by alien invasive pathogens into European forests posed a serious threat to forest sustainability with relevant environmental and economic effects. Many of the alien tree pathogens recently introduced into Europe were not previously included on any quarantine lists, thus they were not subject to phytosanitary inspections. The identification and description of alien fungi potentially pathogenic to native European flora before their introduction in Europe, is a paramount need in order to limit the risk of invasion and the impact to forest ecosystems as well as the potential role as vector of exotic trees traded to Europe. To determine the potential invasive fungi, a sentinel plantation of ecological relevant EU species and a sentinel nursery of the most traded exotic trees to EU were established in China. The fungal assemblage associated with specimens was studied using biological protocols and high-throughput sequencing of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS 1). Taxa with probable Asiatic origin were identified and included plant pathogenic genera. These results indicate that sentinel plantations and nurseries may be a strategic tool to improve the prevention of bio-invasions.</div>

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