ACADEMICS SUPPORT PEST CONTROL MEASURES IN POPLARS

RESEARCHERS PROPOSE TO DEVELOP STUDIES TO ADDRESS DISEASES THAT AFFECT POPLARS AND WILLOWS, SO AS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE SPECIES.



June 09, 2017

The National Poplar Commission (CNA) and researchers from the Poplar Technological Center (CTA) together with other academic experts from the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) began to work in a coordinated way to share knowledge and to ensure the production sustainability of this forest resource.
 
Cristian Espinosa, researcher from the CTA and member of the commission, highlighted the importance of this initiative since there is work currently on the promotion of the cultivation and use of the poplar, nationally. "We need to address all the issues relating to productivity, to work on what is currently affecting the commercial plantations through new challenges in research and development," he said.
 
 
One of the main concerns is related to the arrival to Chile, in the last two years, of new pests and diseases that affect Salicaceae, this is, poplars and willows: the Leucoptera sinuella moth and the Septoria musiva fungus.
 
 
The technical meeting between representatives of the three institutions, which followed the reactivation of CAN, was possible thanks to the "Strengthening the Competitiveness of the Regional Timber Smes Through an Associative Model for the Scaling Up of Plantations with New Varieties of Poplars" project, funded by the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness of the Maule Regional Government (FIC-R).
 
 Generating Synergy
 
 
To the meeting went two professionals working in forest pests and diseases at the central level in the SAG: Ariel Sandoval, coordinator of the national forest monitoring and Alex Opazo, coordinator of the group of pests and diseases. Both professionals valued the joint effort and indicated that it is essential to generate synergy and work to promote the cultivation of the species in the country. "It is very useful because we know producers and the phytosanitary problems which beset them, in this way, we can guide our actions to control the pest in crops," said Opazo.
 
 Projects
 
The meeting was also attended by academics from the Department of Agrarian Sciences, Mauricio Lolas and Eduardo Fuentes, and Jan Heinrich Bergmann from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, who announced that they are already structuring joint projects and in collaboration with researchers from the University of British Columbia, in the area of plant pathology.
 
 
"We are supporting the CTA to apply for external funding that will allow us to know the epidemiology of the Septoria musiva and the genetic structure of the pathogen, with the aim of generating a program of integrated management, thus preventing the spread and destruction of our national heritage of poplars," said Mauricio Lolas. Eduardo Fuentes added that progress has been made in the identification and synthesis of the Leucoptera sinuella’s pheromone, with which it will be possible to obtain monitoring traps for this next season.



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