White pine endophytes: improving tolerance to white pine blister rust

White pine blister rust is a serious disease of pine, an ecologically and economically important forest species in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. In western Canada, this pathogen has virtually eliminated pine as a commercial species and the disease now threatens eastern Canada. Endophytes are fungi that live in the leaves of various plants including conifers. In collaboration with the Miller lab, JD Irving, Limited has invested in the potential of spruce endophytes to increase tolerance to an insect pest, the spruce budworm.