Laurel Wilt Webinar

May 21, 2020

Current status of

Laurel Wilt: A Disease of Avocado


Please find enclosed links to a recent on-line meeting of researchers from forestry and avocado production system perspectives on current laurel wilt research. The goal of the meeting was to briefly share information on current basic and applied research and ideas for controlling or mitigating the laurel wilt pathogen and the ambrosia beetle vectors. Below is the agenda.

Laurel wilt is a notorious example of the destructive capacity of beetle-borne fungi. Even more importantly, there is a vibrant community of researchers studying it! At this meeting we will host scientists and students that are actively solving the mysteries of this epidemic. We will hear about many topics, from glowing transgenic pathogen strains to field detection with sniffer dogs.

We hope that the laurel wilt community will also benefit from what our BBM Network has to offer. Exchanging results and experiences is important for the PIs, but perhaps even more for the students – designing and executing a laurel wilt related-project takes a long time, so it might be beneficial to get feedback earlier than at the publication stage. We see repeated mistakes that could be prevented, and old questions that would have been answered, if we talked more as a community. And how about people studying different ambrosia symbioses, beetles or pathogens? There is a lot of overlap but little information exchange with those outside of our field.




  1. 9:00 Jiri Hulcr: Short introduction to the Bark Beetle Mycobiome group (5 minutes)


  1. Josh Konkol: GFP strain, colonization of the host plant by R. lauricola
  2. Jeff Rollins: Studying R. lauricola pathogenesis through comparative genomics and transcriptomics
  3. Qiang Wang: CRISPR-homologous recombination methods and deletion of genes from R. lauricola
  4. Ross A. Joseph: Swap of multiple GFP-labeled strains inside the vector


  1. Octavio Menocal Sandoval: Breeding Xyleborus, behavior of mating and symbiont swap
  2. Daniel Carrillo: Laurel wilt vectors in avocado
  3. Kirsten Stelinski: TBD


  1. Denita Hadziabdic: Laurel wilt advancing North
  2. Robin Choudhury: LW dispatch from the Texas front
  3. Andrés Lira Noriega: Modelling for risk assessment of laurel wilt in Mexico
  4. Jason Smith: Redbay heritable resistance and rebounding populations


  1. Caterina Villari: Detection of laurel wilt pathogen in the field with LAMP
  2. DeEtta (Dee) Mills: Detector dogs
  3. Pedro Parra Giraldo: Culture-independent Laurel Wilt diagnosis in avocado groves


  1. Romina Gazis: Testing “Out-Of-The-Box” Ideas to Control Laurel Wilt of Avocado
  2. José Luis Olivares-Romero: Synthesis of novel insecticides for the management of ambrosia beetles
  3. Jonathan Crane: Laurel wilt status in avocado groves and grower-initiated control
  4. Xavier Martini and Derrick Connover: Push-pull system to protect redbay and avocado against Laurel Wilt

By Ben Faber
Author - Advisor

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