Priming in Trees Consortium

Oaks powdery milder

Trees, with an average life expectancy of centuries, have a strong immune system that allows them to survive these threats in normal circumstances. However, in the last few years, we have seen outbreaks of tree diseases such as ash dieback, that we have not been prepared for. These events have been fuelled by climate change (e.g. increased temperature and CO2 concentration) and globalization (e.g. movement of people and goods). Much of the effort to control disease outbreaks is directed at operational responses to immediate threats, therefore, there is a need to focus on enhancing our fundamental understanding of plant-pathogen-environment interactions in the longer-term.

The “Priming in Trees” Consortium is an alliance of researchers studying the way that trees can sensitise their defence mechanisms to fight pests and diseases better. It consists of researchers from 10 different countries and 20 different institutions.

Our aims are:

  • To understand mechanisms of priming in trees
  • To study the durability of priming in trees
  • To implement priming of defence in natural forest systems to provide solutions for current and future threats

Latest papers on “Priming in trees”:

Rabiey et al 2022 Scaling-up to understand tree–pathogen interactions: A steep, tough climb or a walk in the park? Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Vivas et al 2021 Transgenerational Induction of Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in Holm Oak. Forests

Amaral et al 2020 Advances and Promises of Epigenetics for Forest Trees. Forests

Mageroy et al 2019 Priming of inducible defenses protects Norway spruce against tree‐killing bark beetles Plant, Cell and Environment

Bittner et al 2019 Defense of Scots pine against sawfly eggs (Diprion pini) is primed by exposure to sawfly sex pheromones PNAS

Camison et al 2019 Increased tolerance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in offspring of ink-diseased chestnut (Castanea sativa Miller) trees Annals of Forest Science


Leader: Dr Estrella Luna-Diez, University of Birmingham, UK


United Kingdom 

Dr Sandra Denman, Forest Research

Prof Rob Jackson, University of Birmingham

Dr Mike Roberts, Lancaster University

Dr Agnes Ardanuy Gabarra, University of Manchester

Mr Samuel Wilkinson, University of Sheffield

Dr Bridget Crampton, Forest Research

Prof Jurriaan Ton, University of Sheffield


Dr Adriana Puentes, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Prof Luis Sampedro, Galician Mision – Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Xoaquín Moreira, Galician Mision – Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Prof Alejandro Solla, University of Extremadura

Dr Mari Angeles Castillejo, University of Cordoba

Prof Jesus Jorrín-Novo, University of Cordoba

Dr Victor Flors, University Jaume I of Castellon

Dr Victoria Pastor, University Jaume I of Castellon

Prof Maria José Pozo, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Dr Mar Sobral, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC)


Dr Melissa Mageroy, NIBIO

Prof Paal Krokene, NIBIO


Prof Brigitte Mauch-Mani, University of Neuchatel


Prof Monika Hilker, Freie University of Berlin

Dr Vivien Lortzing, Freie University of Berlin

Dr Hans Hoenicka, Thuenen Institute


Prof Fred Assiegbu, University of Helsinki

Dr Francoise Martz, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Dr Johanna Riikonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)


Dr Gloria Pinto, University of Aveiro


Prof Stephane Maury, Orleans University


Dr Evangelia Avramidou, Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems

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