Luis Jesus Quijada Fumero, Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher
Pfister Lab, Harvard University Herbaria
Topic: DNA barcoding for plant-pathogens diagnostic and monitoring. Forest diseases and turbo-taxonomy in Tympanidaceae as a case of study.
Forests provide numerous resources and services for the human well-being. Nevertheless, nearly 40% of forests have disappeared. Climate change are affecting disease occurrence because it increases the susceptibility of host and dynamics of pathogens, besides facilitates the establishment and its spread. The 70% of all known plant diseases are produced by pathogenic fungi, mainly in Ascomycota. Tympanidaceae (Ascomycota) is associated with climate change and causes forest diseases. However, there are no current attempts to characterize their members and assess its pathogenicity. Species identification is crucial to knowledge transfer in plant pathology, because names link information regarding the biology, host range, distribution and potential risk. Nowadays, identification current by techniques as turbo-taxonomy, allow to speed up the process of identify and assess plant-pathogens. The main goal of this project is reviewing the Tympanidaceae family, linking identification of specimens with DNA barcodes. The application of the project's results will allow the fast monitoring for conservation and disease control (forest management) and might result in quarantine measures influencing international trade of plants, among others.
Host Lab: Pfister