Meeting of the Commission for Environmental Safety
- July 3, 2023
The implementation of the method of biological control of chestnut bark cancer in Georgia
The National Academy of Sciences of Georgia hosted a meeting of the “Commission for Environmental Safety” on the implementation of the method of biological control of chestnut bark cancer in Georgia. The report was delivered by the researchers of the Agrarian University of Georgia and Vasil Gulisashvili Forest Institute: doctors of biological sciences Medea Burjanadze, Archil Supatashvili and Bidzina Tavadze. Common chestnut – Castanea sativa in Georgia is mainly spread in western Georgia, and in eastern Georgia – in Kakheti. Chestnut has both socio-economic, as well as environmental significance for the country. The study showed that there is a high genetic diversity of Caucasian populations of C. parasitica in Georgia. In particular, the frequency of three main multilocus haplotypes: CpGeo20, CpGeo75, CpGeo97, two of which, CpGeo20 and CpGeo75, belonged to the Georgian cluster and were not previously found in Europe and the USA. A unique CHV-1 subtype of C. parasitica was also identified in the Georgian population, which belongs to the more severe hypoviruses, as it strongly reduces the growth of the parasitic fungus C. parasitica.
Although this CHV-1 subtype generally has a strong phenotypic effect on C. parasitica, it appears to be more adapted to the Georgian than to the European gene pool of C. parasitica. It offers a longer history of interaction with the Georgian rather than the European gene pool. The CHV-1 subtype in Georgia represents a valuable biological control agent for hypoviral use in the Caucasus region.