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    Description

    Beech bark disease (BBD) results in high levels of initial mortality, leaving behind survivor trees that are greatly weakened and deformed. The disease is initiated by feeding activities of the invasive beech scale insect, Cryptococcus fagisuga, which creates entry points for infection by one of the Neonectria species of fungus. Without scale infestation, there is little opportunity for fungal infection. Using scale eggs to artificially infest healthy trees in heavily BBD impacted stands demonstrated that these trees were resistant to the scale insect portion of the disease complex. Here we present a protocol that we have developed, based on the artificial infestation technique by Houston, which can be used to screen for scale-resistant trees in the field and in smaller potted seedlings and grafts. The identification of scale-resistant trees is an important component of management of BBD through tree improvement programs and silvicultural manipulation.

    View a video presenting the protocol developed to screen individual beech trees for beech scale resistance.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Koch, Jennifer L.; Carey, David W. 2014. A technique to screen American beech for resistance to the beech scale insect (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lind). Journal of Visualized Experiments. e51515.

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    Keywords

    Forestry, Insects, Disease Resistance, American beech, Fagus grandifolia, beech scale, Cryptococcus fagisuga, resistance, screen, bioassay

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/46347