A surveillance program is being conducted in major Québec cities, and in areas bordering with Ontario and the U.S to detect the presence of the highly virulent oak wilt fungus. The loss of oak has the potential to reduce biodiversity, cause reduction in wildlife habitat and acorns which are considered the most important food source for wildlife in North American forests. Additionally, these tree species provide added value to the landscape of urban areas. The rising demand for oaks in Québec as a more drought-resilient species to mitigate impacts of climate change could be seriously jeopardized by the establishment of oak wilt disease in Canada.
The proposed research will generate scientifically sound in situ analytical protocols, which will bring End-Users at the forefront of early-onset disease diagnostics and forest ecosystems protection.
Genome Centre : Génome Québec
Philippe Tanguay – Natural Resources Canada
Guillaume J. Bilodeau – Canadian Food Inspection Agency