In June of 2011, Robert Jetton (NCSU Camcore) and Fred Hain (NCSU Department of Entomology) received a $45,040 grant from the US Forest Service Southern Research Station for a new research project titled, “Evaluating Techniques for Artificially Infesting Hemlocks (Tsuga spp.) with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and Assessing Variation in Adelgid Susceptibility Among Carolina Hemlock (T. caroliniana) Half-sib Families.”
The objectives of the project are to: (1) test various techniques for artificially infesting eastern and Carolina hemlock seedlings with the hemlock woolly adelgid and determine what method is most efficient at producing consistent and reliable adelgid infestations to screen hemlock genotypes for HWA resistance, and (2) determine if variation in susceptibility to hemlock woolly adelgid infestation that could be captured in hemlock resistance breeding and restoration programs exists among Carolina hemlock seed sources collected for ex situ conservation. Robert and Fred are collaborating with US Forest Service Research Entomologist Bud Mayfield who is funding the project, and new Camcore graduate student Zaidee Powers will conduct the research as part of her M.S. program in Forestry and Entomology. A poster presentation that was presented at the 2011 North American Forest Insect Work Conference, titled “Operation Adelgification: Evaluating a Rain Down Technique to Artificially Infest Seedlings with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid”, outlining some preliminary work this project is available for viewing on the Research page of the ASTF website.