Novel Diagnostic Tools for Rapid and Early Detection of Oak Wilt

$150,000 to develop new technologies for rapid and early detection of the non-native, invasive fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, which causes the mostly fatal disease in oak trees.  Principal investigator is Abdennour Abbas, assistant professor in the bioproducts and biosystems engineering department.

Abdennour Abbas, principal investigator
Brett Arenz, co-principal investigator
Jennifer Juzwik, co-principle investigator

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Winter 2017 update

The project aims at developing a field-testing platform for rapid detection of oak wilt caused by the fungus C.fagacearum. Over the last year, we have developed a technology for fungi and fungal DNA extraction from wood chips and another technology for rapid DNA detection using chemiluminescence. We are currently working on combining these two technologies to develop a portable DNA extraction and detection platform, to enable field detection of oak wilt within one hour using a hand-held luminometer.