2009 Range-wide Genetic Variation in Stomata Characters & Their Association with Blister Rust Resistance

Project: Range-wide genetic variation in stomata characters and their association with blister rust resistance in whitebark pine.

Agency/Forest or Park/District: Dorena Genetic Resource Center, Cottage Grove, OR

Project coordinator: Jerry Hill

Contact:  Jerry Hill, Dorena GRC, 34963 Shoreview Rd, Cottage Grove, OR, 541-767-5715, jerryhill@fs.fed.us

Richard Sniezko, Dorena GRC, 541-767-5716, rsniezko@fs.fed.us


Jeff Stone, Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; Anna Schoettle, USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins, CO

Source of funding /amount

FHP: $15,000 and $11,000 from USDA Forest Service Region 6.

Supplemental funding: $20,000 from collaborators.

Dates of restoration efforts

Selection of trees to be sampled and preparation of data files will be done in the winter months of 2008-9.  Needle collection from designated trees will take place through the spring/summer of 2009.  Measurements on the collected needles will take place soon after collection.  All collection and measurement will be done by September 2009.  A update of activities underway will be provided in early October 2009.  Data analysis and report writing will then begin and will be completed by February 2010.


Examine range-wide genetic variation in needle stomatal characters (principally size, density, distribution, and wax) and its association with parent geography and white pine blister rust resistance.  This will be the first examination of the relationship between needle and stomata characters with needle spot frequency and rust infection among whitebark pine families.

Acres/ha treated   N/A


Several unique groups of whitebark pine plant materials will be available to be sampled during only a short window of time. Each will have both 2007 and 2008 needles on them in 2009.  These include: [1] 225 families covering much of the range of whitebark pine (Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia), sown in 2007 and inoculated in 2008; 101 families covering portions of the range of WBP in Washingon and Oregon, sown in 2004 and inoculated in 2005, and [3] grafts from parent trees from Oregon & Washington which have been planted at two diverse sites. Rust resistance information is currently available for the 2004 trial and a subset of the parents in the 2007 trial.  Blister rust needle spot data will be available on the 2007 trial by mid-summer 2009.

A subset of seedlings from families representing the range of geography and rust resistance characters will be selected from the trials available. Needles of the same year’s growth will be collected from each selected tree and measured.  Seedling height, number of needle fasicles, and needle length will also be measured for sampled seedlings. The young grafts will also offer a possible opportunity to sample needles from the parental environment (older needles retained on the graft) as well as younger needles from ramets of the same parent clones at two widely varying environments.  Microscopic examination of the needles sampled for each family will be performed to measure the desired stomatal characters.  Simple statistical and spatial statistical analyses will be performed on the data to generate both simple means and landscape related patterns in the data.  If funding is sufficient, needles from a few representative seedlings will be inspected for wax characters using electron microscopy.

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance?  No


Needle samples collected, assessments completed – awaiting final data analysis or poster/report.

Monitoring since completion of the Project   N/A


            Plans for future monitoring?  

Will outcome meet goals? 

Future actions/follow up? 

A parallel study was initiated using a single population (Crater Lake NP).

Miscellaneous comments  

We hope to have a poster summarizing the project at IUFRO June 2014 Conference:  Five-Needle Pines – Rusts – Genomics