Screening spruce for white pine weevil resistance

Project description

This presentation summarizes work accomplished under FRBC project FR-95/96-119 "Development of a field bioassay for spruce weevil resistance in Sitka and interior spruce."

The white pine weevil, Pissodes strobi (Peck), is an important pest that limits Sitka, Engelmann, and White spruce reforestation in western Canada. This insect reduces timber values and hinders plantations from achieving a "free to grow" status.

Tree damaged by weevil
Tree damaged by weevil

Non-timber values, such as our ability to meet biodiversity guidelines, are also seriously impaired when we are unable to plant or regenerate spruce in the appropriate habitats. This page describes a collaborative research project that aimed at screening spruce trees genotypes for resistance to the white pine weevil and understanding the genetic breadth of both the host and the pest for attributes that are relevant to the development of resistance spruce stocks.

Several spruce genotypes with heritable resistance have been found, and these are in the process of being propagated for inclusion in seed orchards and reforestation programs in British Columbia. To further understand the inheritance of resistance, research is continuing by testing the resistance in the progeny of selected crosses . We hope that these genotypes will help in restoring Sitka spruce as the species of choice in many coastal habitats.

The team

A team of scientists and technicians worked on various aspects of this project.

  • René I. Alfaro, K.O. Lewis, G. Brown, Lara Van Akker, Angus Shand, Leslie Manning: Canadian Forest Service
  • John King, Alvin Yanchuk, Barry Jaquish, G. Kiss, Cheng Ying: BC Ministry of Forests
  • John McLean, David Brescia: U of British Columbia
  • Elizabeth Tomlin, John Borden: Simon Fraser University
  • Yousry El-Kassaby: U of British Columbia
  • Mike Peterson, Harry Kope: Applied Forest Science
  • Sound Tang: University of Victoria


 BC Ministry of Forests           Forest Renewal BC

Project status

  • On-going

Team members