Project aesculaap

Cytological changes in diseased horse chestnut trees in the Netherlands.

Irene Paris (guest)

Dr. André van Lammeren (supervisor)

Recently the laboratory of Plant Cell Biology became involved in a program to unravel a lethal bleeding disease in horse chestnut (Aesculus hypocastanum) which occurs in an increasing scale in the Netherlands and abroad. Symptoms are first observed as black spots on the bark of the stem. The black spots are the sites where a brown exudate comes to the surface. Hereafter cracks appear in the bark, and the tree will die soon after. The cause of the disease and the spreading mechanism are not known. Several groups of Wageningen-UR: the laboratories of the Plant Sciences Group, Applied Plant Research (PPO), and Alterra together with the Plant Protection Service of the Netherlands, Central Bureau for Fungal Cultures, the Cities of  Den Haag, Houten, Haarlemmermeer and Utrecht, and Ingenieursbureau Amsterdam combine their actions in an initiative called Aesculaap to unravel the cause of the disease and its mechanism to proliferate. Plant Cell Biology contributes to that action by analyzing the cytological changes in infected trees.