The project will focus exclusively on the
pinewood nematode (PWN) Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, due to its increasing impact on Portuguese forestry and economy, as well
as increased risk to European forestry (cf. recent expansion and detection in Spain, in 2008 in Cáceres and 2010 in Galicia, and
now, November 2009, in the island of Madeira).
Through this project - and since most chemical nematicides, for environmental reasons, have either been banned or are in a
phasing out stage - alternative control methods will be developed. In recent years, numerous studies regarding essential oils,
produced from several plant species, have been evaluated for their natural nematicidal properties. Therefore, knowledge which has
accumulated from the different partners involved in this proposal – UE (nematology, nematicidal activity of phytochemicals), FCUL
(plant histology, essential oils, phytochemical analysis), ESB (volatile metabolomics, inoculation tests) – will be used in the study
of the infection of PWN and evaluation of phytochemicals/volatiles capable of controlling, in an effective and safe way, the
nematode and also the disease.
The proposal is divided into the following main tasks: (1) extraction and analysis of essential oils and volatile components for use
in bioassays; (2) dose-response studies to evaluate the nematicidal activity of the essential oils, its fractions and decoction
waters; (3) inoculation of four pine species with a virulent and an avirulent nematode strain (histopathology, tree resistance and
defense mechanisms); (4) metabolomics analysis of the inoculated trees volatiles; (5) combining all results for evaluating the
effectiveness of the different phytochemicals and development of an effective nematicide, based on a better understanding of the
disease. As a result, we expected to: (1) discover new nematicidal compounds from the Portuguese aromatic flora; (2) develop
new application methods; (3) understand the plant-nematode histopathological interaction; (4) study and understand the role of
plant volatiles in the process; (5) produce and transmit valuable results to the industry associated with the forestry sector.
Bolsa de Investigação 01 (BI) no âmbito do projecto (abordagem histopatológica) - Acta da reunião do júri de selecção
Bolsa de Investigação 02 (BI) no âmbito do projecto (abordagem fitoquímica) - Acta da reunião do júri de selecção