New approaches for the early detection of tree health pests and pathogens

An LWEC Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative project

The UK's forests, woods and trees are under threat from a growing number of pests and diseases. Many of these threats are alien; historically not present in the UK and having been introduced from overseas. The most common pathway of introduction is via human activity, especially trade; for example moving infected plants or infested timber.

These cases clearly demonstrate that we need to do more to improve our nation's biosecurity and protect our crops, trees and native plants.

Want to know more, then get involved!

Latest News and Articles (view all)

Socio-technological Learning Lab

A reflective article on the recent 'learning lab' with plant health inspectors. An opportunity to understand the logistics of import inspection and the challenges inspectors face day-to-day.

Read about the Socio-technological Learning Lab

New! Read all about it – Newsletter released

The team have been busy both within their labs and venturing out to visit others and understand the practice of early detection of tree pests and pathogens. The first project newsletter is now available.

Download the Newsletter (pdf)

Learning Platform 2

Early detection Technologies Second Learning Platform took place in October 2015.

Further details and presentations

Work Packages

This project has 6 work packages (WP), each based around a different combination of skills and expertise. For WP2-6 there will be a focus on a particular detection technology

workpackage 1

WP 1

A participatory interdisciplinary approach will be used to evaluate the needs of stakeholders and to ensure that the technologies meet these.
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workpackage 2

WP 2

Analytical chemistry approaches will be used to identify diagnostic volatile organic compounds.
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workpackage 3

WP 3

Multispectral imaging will be used to identify markers for the early detection of biotic/abiotic stress in plants.
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workpackage 4

WP 4

Will develop mathematical models of spore movement and investigate metagenomics for broad-spectrum surveillance.
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workpackage 5

WP 5

Novel semiochemical attractants will be identified for a range of wood-boring beetle pests.
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workpackage 6

WP 6

Methods for sampling and rapid screening water for Phytophthora spp., including 'unknowns' will be developed and validated.
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