16 APR 2021

A research article recently published in MDPI Forests journal presents the LAMP tool for rapid detection of tree pathogens causing needle blight. The paper called "Rapid Detection of Pine Pathogens Lecanosticta acicola, Dothistroma pini and D. septosporum on Needles by Probe-Based LAMP Assays" provides insight into the advantages that the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the rapid and early detection of pathogens L. acicola, D. pini and D. septosporum. ...

26 MAR 2021

A peer-reviewed preprint article recently published on the BioRxiv platform presents the results of a study on the host-plant competition between conspecific insect herbivores. The paper called "Host-mediated, cross-generational intraspecific competition in a herbivore species" provides the results of a study on tree moth females (Cydalima perspectalis Walker, Lepidoptera: Crambidae) exposed to box trees (Buxus sempervirens L., Buxaceae).          ...

22 MAR 2021

Results of the HOMED project were presented at the Innovative approaches for territorial surveillance event organised by the Working Group on Plant Health Surveillance, co-organized by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). The event was held on 18 March, where 58 participants, two official representatives from each EU country and EC agents, gathered to...

5 MAR 2021

On Friday, 26 February 2021, HOMED held its first quarterly online workshop for HOMED PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The idea of the workshop, as well as a number of means to intensify young researchers' involvement, was raised during the last HOMED annual meeting, held between 23-27 November 2020. The main aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for discussion between young researcchers involved in the project and renouned HOMED senior scientists who can provide...

1 MAR 2021

A special feature article recently published in the The Royal Society Biology Letters journal presents a study on caterpillar response to polarized light through the caterpillar organ responsible for polarized light vision. The paper called "Spatial orientation of social caterpillars is influenced by polarized light" presents information about experimental research performed on two caterpillar species, namely the European Thaumetopoea pityocampa, and Ochrogaster lunifer in...

21 JAN 2021

The year that passed was not an easy one, however the HOMED project team managed to cope with the difficulties of the extraordinary situation of a global pandemic, and amazing project results were achieved in 2020!     The HOMED project wishes everybody a prosperous 2021!

21 DEC 2020

A research article recently published in the Scientific Reports journal investigates the taxonomic status of the parasitoid wasp Ganaspis brasiliensis. The paper called "Evidence for a cryptic parasitoid species reveals its suitability as a biological control agent" presents evidence that G. brasiliensis, which is considered as one of the a candidate for biological control of the invasive spotted wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii, is a complex of at least two cryptic species....

27 NOV 2020

More than 50 project partners gathered between 23 and 27 November 2020 to mark the successful ending of the second year of the HOMED project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the second annual meeting of HOMED was held online. However, the unusual format did not stop participants from having both fruitful discussions and a great team spirit.  Within the five conference days, working group teams of scientists and experts discussed project achievements, research results and discussed future...

19 NOV 2020

A research article recently published in the Management of Biological Invasions journal ascertains the presence of the pathogen Dothistroma septosporum at several sites in Italy. The paper called "Dothistroma Needle Blight in protected pine forests in Italy" presents evidence that in Italy D. septosporum currently has  a much larger distribution than previously reported, comprising several forest sites both in the South and in the North-East of the country. Authors of the...

22 OCT 2020

A review article recently published in the Neobiota journal provides an overview of the connection between the disciplines of forest pathology and invasion science. The paper, co-authored by HOMED researchers, is called "Harmonising the fields of invasion science and forest pathology". It stresses that there is an increasing interdependence between the two disciplines in terms of determining pests and pathogens which pose a threat to forest health.  The images at the top...

6 OCT 2020

HOMED’s first collection of policy briefs is now launched and the first policy brief is available online. The main objective of HOMED policy briefs is to provide quick and easy access to HOMED scientific insights, results, guidance and methods, designed and translated to answer the needs of policy makers and decision-makers. The policy briefs collection will consist of separate concise outputs that aim to allow users to quickly find the topics that are of interest to them. HOMED policy...

29 SEP 2020

An article recently published in the Mycokeys journal presents results proving the existence of a new species of fungus that has previously been confused with pine pathogen Caliciopsis pinea. The paper called "Caliciopsis moriondi, a new species for a fungus long confused with the pine pathogen C. pinea" aims to clarify the taxonomy of Caliciopsis specimens collected from infected Pinus spp. in Europe and North America. Using an integrative approach combining morphology and...

25 SEP 2020

As part of the promotional and dissemination toolset of HOMED, selected to make the results of the project available across stakeholders and the general public, a collection of practice abstracts was prepared and published on the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) platform. These concise and clear pieces of knowledge aim to present HOMED results to one of the key project target groups – the practitioners. One of HOMED’s...

24 SEP 2020

An article recently published for review in advance in the Annual Review of Entomology analyses the effects of increasing tree species richness on tree resistance to pest damage. The paper called "Tree Diversity and Forest Resistance to Insect Pests: Patterns, Mechanisms and Prospects" presents a quantitative assessment of tree diversity effects on insect herbivory and a discussion of plausible mechanisms underlying the observed patterns. Figure: Conceptual diagram showing how...

3 SEP 2020

An article recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology analyses the effectiveness of clear-cutting as a method for combating the spread of pine wood nematode (PWN) in non-fragmented forests. The paper called "Effectiveness of clear‐cuttings in non‐fragmented pine forests in relation to EU regulations for the eradication of the pine wood nematode" presents a model aiming to analyse whether the EU regulation for combatting PWN spread is effective. The pine wood...

19 AUG 2020

A new study on the threats of Xylella fastidiosa to European forests is now available on Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. The inquiry has been conducted by a group of international scientists, amongst whom are HOMED project partners. The study claims that X. fastidiosa has caused the emergence of Olive Decline Syndrome, which poses a risk to many important crops in Europe, such as fruit trees and grapevine. Therein, the researchers have focused on establishing the...

20 JUL 2020

Pathologists and entomologists unite knowledge and expertise over the common goal to battle unprecedented biotic threats posed by biological invasions and improve the long-term health of forests. Researchers from the EU project HOMED aim to prevent or reduce the profound impacts on forests of both alien and emerging native pests and pathogens. © James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org The United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2020 as the...

16 JUL 2020

In the light of the current pandemic situation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) marked that 2020 is also the International year of plant health. In regard to this, the organization held a webinar on the topic of Forest Invasive Species: the next global pandemic? The course, which was held during July 2020, was exclusively online and HOMED experts – Prof. Mike Wingfield, had the opportunity to guest lecture the event. In recognition of the...

18 JUN 2020

HOMED researchers report on the use of a volatile organic compounds (VOC) blend for the detection of a quarantine plant pathogen. It shows that VOC fingerprinting could represent an innovative method to help phytosanitary services in rapid surveying of plant consignments at ports of entry by sampling the air within a container where plants have been stored.  Ceratocystis platani causes canker stain of plane trees, and it represents a serious disease of Platanus spp....