Title

Encountering Resistance: Investigating Immunity of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Against Attack by Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)

Abstract

Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) has decimated large swathes of coniferous forest in Western North America in recent years. Correlated with rising temperatures and increased drought-like conditions, the range of these beetles has expanded swiftly into northern latitudes and high elevations, far beyond the historic range of the species. High-elevation trees, not adapted to beetle attack, are killed at even greater rates (90-95 percent). My presentation investigates a small population of Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) which was subject to an infestation of Mountain Pine Beetle but not attacked. Using genetic markers, I analyzed the genetic diversity of these “survivor” trees in comparison to the general population of the area to find evidence of a heritable pine beetle resistance trait in these survivors. This research may lead to more in-depth study on the gene(s) responsible for this trait and potential future use of this resistance in protecting our forests.

Faculty Sponsor

Delbert Hutchison

Tracks

Plant Wars

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Encountering Resistance: Investigating Immunity of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Against Attack by Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)

Science 100

Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) has decimated large swathes of coniferous forest in Western North America in recent years. Correlated with rising temperatures and increased drought-like conditions, the range of these beetles has expanded swiftly into northern latitudes and high elevations, far beyond the historic range of the species. High-elevation trees, not adapted to beetle attack, are killed at even greater rates (90-95 percent). My presentation investigates a small population of Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) which was subject to an infestation of Mountain Pine Beetle but not attacked. Using genetic markers, I analyzed the genetic diversity of these “survivor” trees in comparison to the general population of the area to find evidence of a heritable pine beetle resistance trait in these survivors. This research may lead to more in-depth study on the gene(s) responsible for this trait and potential future use of this resistance in protecting our forests.

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