Somatic embryogenesis of Pinus radiata individuals with apparent tolerance to banding and in vitro vegetative propagation of alternative species

  • Project start: 01/01/2022
  • End of project: 31/12/2025
  • Department: Forestry
  • Funder: Vice-Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy. Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment. Basque Government.
  • Budget: 193,685 €.

The forestry-wood value chain is fundamental in the socio-economic sphere of the Basque Country. In this respect, radiata pine accounts for 32% of the Basque forested area, as well as 68% of the activity of our timber industry.

In recent years, this species has been seriously affected by a disease known as needle banding disease. This name refers to a group of fungal species that affect the needles of different types of pine and other conifers. The red band basically includes two species of fungi, Dothistroma pini and Dothistroma septosporum, and the brown band, Lecanosticta acicola; the action of these seems to be enhanced by factors linked to climate change.

Thus, one of the alternatives to combat the disease quickly, considering the traditional propagation times in conifers, is to select tolerant individuals of radiata pine and multiply their progeny efficiently, so that they can later be tested against these fungi and thus try to identify and obtain plant material that is tolerant to the disease. Along with this strategy, it is also important to develop propagation methods for alternative species that may be of interest for planting in the Basque Country.

Therefore, the objectives of this project are: the development of cell lines from Pinus radiata individuals with apparent tolerance to bands and the obtaining of somatic plants from these lines to be tested against fungal pathogens and the development and optimisation of in vitro propagation systems (organogenesis and/or somatic embryogenesis) for alternative species of interest for the ACBC, mainly pine hybrids.