WWETAC Projects

Project Title: Applied resistance breeding for forest trees workshop

Principal Investigators: Susan Frankel, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Richard Sniezko, USDA Forest Service, Dorena Genetic Resource Center, Cottage Grove, OR


Key Issues/Problems Addressed:

This workshop provided the first major international forum since 1980 to facilitate discussion on the status and future plans for applied tree resistance programs for detrimental pathogens and insects. The U.S. is a world leader in resistance programs in forest trees, and the exchange of information among program leaders from a range of disciplines will immediately benefit the newer as well as the longer existing resistance programs.

Setting and Approach:

The Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry was held on July 30 - August 5, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon and included field trips, indoor sessions, posters, and proceedings. Multiple oral presentations provided an overview of current scientific information on forest insect and disease resistance for a range of forest pests worldwide. Key threats were addressed, such as climate change and disease resistance in natural populations, along with a review available research tools.

Key Topics:

Tree resistance breeding programs at various stages in development were compared including resistance of several white pine species to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), Port-Orford-cedar or  Lawson’s cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) resistance tothe root disease Phytophthora lateralis, tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflora) resistance to Phytophthora ramorum (cause of sudden oak death), along with many others.


See the website for the Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry for abstracts, PowerPoint presentations, and webcast video of individual talks. Over forty papers and extended abstracts have been prepared for the proceedings which will be published summer/fall 2012. The workshop brought together a range of disciplines including genetics and breeding, pathology, entomology, ecology, evolutionary biology and forestry.

This workshop could cover only a portion of needed information and exchanges.  Plans are being formulated for a subsequent workshop, likely in France in 2014.


Sniezko, R.A.; Yanchuk, A.D.; Kliejunas, J.T.; Palmieri, K.M.; Alexander, J. M. and Frankel, S.J. tech. coords. In press. Disease and Insect Resistance in Forest Trees: Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-XXX. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station   xxx p.

WWETAC Project ID:  FY10TS81