Articles: Scientists Are One Step Closer to Solving Ash Dieback Disease Problem

Scientists in the UK have managed to unravel the DNA code of the ash dieback fungus which has attacked forests throughout Europe. They now believe that this DNA will help them to find out how the pathogen attacks the trees and, in the long term, find a way to stop the fungus. The new found data has been released online to enable international researches to study the Fungus more effectively than ever before.

Chalara fraxinea (Ash dieback) has the deadly potential to cause devastation among the 80 million ash trees that thrive in the UK, so it is essential to find a way of stopping it, for now though Scientists are trying to find out how it spreads. They are also trying to find out if there are any ash trees that are naturally immune to the effects of ash dieback. It is already believed that a small minority of ash trees are immune to the fungus such as a species of Danish ash tree that makes up for about 2% of the overall Danish population.

A team consisting of The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) and the John Innes Centre tested the DNA of an uninfected twig which has allowed them to crack the genome of three samples of the fungus in only a few weeks. They found toxin genes that they feel could lead to an explanation of how the fungus kills trees in the first place.

The first recorded finding of ash dieback was back in 1992 in Eastern Europe since then it has grown into a continental epidemic in the space of two short decades. It was first found in the England in March 2012 and it had already infected 391 sites in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and Essex and in now it has been found in Wales.

While the dieback disease is a cause for concern, the supply of iWood’s European Ash products is not affected.