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The Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic – Using genomics of the interacting bark beetles, fungal pathogens and host pine trees to improve forest ecological risk models

072BTL
  • Project Leaders: Joerg Bohlmann, Janice Cooke
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $4000000
  • Competition: Applied Genomics Consortium Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2008
  • Status: Closed

This project (Tria I) on mountain pine beetle was looking at the mechanisms for managing the beetles, identifying and breeding resistant trees, and understanding the biology of the beetle and the destructive fungi that it carries. This project extended genomic research and resources from the molecular into whole organism, ecological, stand and landscape levels. The project determined genetic structures of mountain pine beetle, pines, and fungal associated populations across the range of the present outbreak in western Canada; resulted in genomics-enhanced environmental risk models that have the potential to be utilized by end-user groups, such as an ecological risk model of predicting outbreak to a one square kilometer scale for British Columbia. This project established an international network on the mountain pine beetle system; laid a critical scientific foundation for the next phase of full applications development, which led to a follow-on large scale funding from Genome BC ABC program (Tria II).