Do parasitic fungi change bark and trunk volatiles of spruce and thus cause attacks of phloeophagous insects?

The main aim of the project is to characterise the aboveground chemical signals typical for trees infested (belowground) with parasitic fungi. The volatile production of the different morphic states of the fungi will be investigated. The visible reaction of a tree will be compared with its defensive chemical signals. Chemical analysis on living mature trees will be done by non invasive headspace sampling with a specialised trunk sampling jacket. Because of the hidden activity belowground in the root system, mycologists will characterise the fungal infestation intensity and first of all the species. The multiple reaction of trees to several stress factors, eg. lack of water has to be considered.

Research Intention with: Dr. Pavel Plašil and Prof. Dr. Libor Jankovský, Mendel University of Brno, Czech Republic