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Chinese chestnut production in the United States: Practice, problems, and possible solutions



There are fewer than 162 ha of commercial Chinese chestnut orchards in the United States, with approximately half of these in the Southeast. Large numbers of Chinese chestnut seedlings are planted annually in the United States for home and game food production; however, knowledge about chestnut propagation, fertilization, pests, harvest, storage and marketing is not adequate. There is little commercial marketing of U.S.-grown Chinese chestnuts through roadside markets and local farmers’ markets as the supply is low and unpredictable. However, we yearly import 4.5 mill kg of European chestnuts to satisfy the U.S. market. Successful chestnut orchards will require vegetatively propagated selections, intensive management, mechanical harvesting, and control of insect and disease pests.
Chinese Chestnut Production in the
United States: Practice, Problems, and
Possible Solutions^
Jerry A. Payne,^ Richard A. Jaynes,=^ and Stanley J. Kays"'
T/iere are fewer than 162 ha of commercial Chinese chestnut orchards in the
United States, with approximately half of these in the Southeast. Large numbers
of Chinese chestnut seedlings are planted annually in the United States for home
and game food production: however, knowledge about chestnut propagation,
fertilization, pests, harvest, storage and marketing is not adequate. There is little
commercial marketing of U.S.-grown Chinese chestnuts through roadside mar
kets and local farmers' markets as the supply is low and unpredictable. However,
we yearly import 4.5 mill kg of European chestnuts to satisfy the U.S. market.
Successful chestnut orchards will require vegetatively propagated selections, in
tensive management, mechanical harvesting, and control of insect and disease
The Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollissima Blume, has been utilized as a food
and timber crop since ancient times in northern China, the presumed center of
origin of the species (Vavilov, 1951). Shih Ching, a collection of poems composed
over a period of 500 yr between 1000 and 500 B.C., lists Chinese chestnut as an
economic crop of that period (Keng, 1974). It was first introduced into the United
States in 1853 (Rehder, 1940) and again in 1901 by G. D. Brill (Galloway, 1926).
In 1904, chestnut blight was discovered in New York on American chestnut,
Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh., and interest was stimulated for introducing
Chinese chestnuts and other Castanea species that might be blight resistant. In
1912, W. Van Fleet of the U.S. Bureau of Plant Industry established a 900-tree
test orchard of Asiatic chestnuts at Glendale, Maryland. Most of this earlier
chestnut research and exploration was oriented toward finding a winter-hardy,
timber-type tree with characteristics of the American chestnut and then hybrid
izing the introduced Castanea species with the American for superior blight re
sistance (Jaynes, 1972; McKay and Berry, 1960). The use of Chinese chestnut as
a food crop was an outgrowth of these projects, and seed was distributed to
landowners for establishment in regions formerly occupied by our native Amer
ican chestnut. In 1927, R. D. Beattie searched the Orient for outstanding Chinese
chestnut (Beattie, 1931). The first cultivar selections of Chinese chestnut for food
were made in 1930 (Reed, 1946). These early selections were chosen entirely from
desirable nuts sent by cooperators who had received trees from the USDA; bear
ing habits and other characteristics of the original parent trees were unknown.
' Received for publication 14 June 1982; accepted 20 August 1982.
2 Research Entomologist, USDA, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, P.O. Box
87, Byron, GA 31008.
' Horticulturist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven, CT
* Physiologist, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
Economic Botany, 37(2), 1983, pp. 187-200
© 1983, by the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458
Small plantings have been established throughout the eastern United States since
the 1930s; however, present commercial acreage is less than 162 ha (Chase, 1976).
The Japanese chestnut, C. crenata Sieb. & Zucc., is an important orchard tree
in Japan, and, like the Chinese chestnut, is resistant to the chestnut blight fungus.
It has been widely tested since the early introductions of Luther Burbank and
others in the late 1800s, but is less commonly grown than the Chinese chestnut
because the nuts are not as sweet, the pellicle is often folded into the kernel and
difficult to peel, and the trees are generally less well adapted and shorter lived
(Jaynes, 1979).
The European chestnut, C. sativa Mill., is susceptible to the chestnut blight
fungus, but planted trees survive outside the natural range of the American chest
nut in the Midwest and western United States where they usually escape infec
tion. However, such trees are at risk to introduction of the chestnut blight fungus.
There are about 20 ha of producing orchards of European chestnut in central
California just east of San Francisco. The original trees were introduced over 100
yr ago by the settlers of Italian descent. The market for the nuts has been excellent
in recent years with retail prices as high as $6.60 per kg ($3.00/lb) in shell for
jumbo nuts (as few as 12 nuts per lb). Average yields are 2,220 kg/ha (2,000 lb/
acre); however, seedling trees are being top-worked and new orchards planted to
selected, high-yielding cultivars with large nuts. Yields of 3,360-4,480 kg/ha (3,000-
4,000 lb/acre) are anticipated from orchards of grafted trees (Jaynes, unpub
N um e r ou s s el e c ti on s o f C h in e se c h e st n ut h a v e b ee n n am e d b ut f e w h av e r e
ceived wide publicity and even fewer have been widely propagated. Best known
selections include 'Eaton,' a likely Chinese hybrid from Connecticut, and the
USDA releases 'Crane,' 'Nanking,' and 'Orrin' (Jaynes, 1979, 1980b). Replicated
cultivar trials should be established in different geographic locations to evaluate
objectively these and other selections.
Major efforts are underway to preserve germplasm of many commercially im
portant fruit and nuts. A repository for chestnut, along with walnut and hickory,
will be established at Carbondale, Illinois, if adequate funds are appropriated
(Anonymous, 1981). In the meantime, no one has responsibility for maintaining
species and cultivars of chestnut (Jaynes, 1974). Much of the USDA material was
lost when their funding of chestnut research ceased in the 1960s, and materials
at other research centers are at risk of being lost.
Chinese chestnut is suited to nut production in a wide range of climatic and
soil conditions. It is as cold hardy as the peach, and can withstand -29°C when
fully dormant (Clapper and Gravatt, 1946; Crane, 1960; Jones et al., 1980). Chinese
chestnut trees grow well on many different types of soils if they are well drained.
However, as much attention should be given to selecting a site for Chinese chest-
1983] P A Y N E E T A L . : C H I N E S E C H E S T N U T 189
nut trees as to the soil in which they are planted (McKay and Crane, 1953). Since
Chinese chestnut trees start growth activity in early spring following warm win
ters and are subject to cold injury, they should not be planted in frost pockets
(Crane, 1960).
Most growers plant seedlings because they cost less than grafted trees. Several
growers who have planted orchards of improved cultivars state that grafted trees
are superior to seedlings in nut production (Weaver, 1960; Wilson, 1967). Seedling
trees are highly variable with respect to tree and nut characteristics and some
trees are unproductive. Nuts produced by different seedling trees vary greatly in
size, color, shape, amount of shell pubescence, and time and uniformity of ma
turity or harvest. So far as is known, all cultivars of chestnuts are self-sterile
(Jaynes, 1972, 1975), thus 2 or more cultivars or seedlings must be planted to
gether to ensure cross-pollination. Chestnut appears to be predominantly wind-
pollinated, although many species of insects visit the flowers and may effect cross-
pollination (Clapper, 1954; Jaynes, 1975).
To establish an orchard of uniform trees requires careful attention to vegetation
control. Newly transplanted or young Chinese chestnut trees cannot successfully
compete with briars and brambles of various kinds or with sassafras, sweet gum
sprouts or seedlings, trumpet vines, other weeds or grass. The trees must be
cultivated, at least while they are young, or a combination of mowing and her
bicides can be used to control weeds and grass.
Chestnuts can be productive. Records from one Georgia grower with 8 ha of
seedling Chinese chestnuts on a 7.6 x 7.6-m planting show that yields of 3,000
kg/ha (2,700 lb/acre) can be expected (Fig. 1). Yields of 4,400 kg/ha (2 tons/acre)
have been achieved from an experimental planting of 70 seedling trees per hectare
(10 yr old) at Byron, Georgia. With retail prices of in-shell nuts at about $4.40
per kg ($2.00/lb) the potential for high gross income per hectare is evident.
Weevils are a major threat to production because they attack the developing
nuts. Weevil-damaged nuts are likely to harbor a wide variety of mycoflora and
are more likely to spoil than undamaged nuts (Wells and Payne, 1975). Unless
controlled they can render the crop unfit for use. Two chestnut weevils, the large
chestnut weevil, Curculio caryatrypes (Boheman), and the small chestnut weevil,
curculio sayi (Gyllenhal), are uniformly distributed in the eastern United States
wherever chestnuts are grown (Gibson, 1969). A nut curculio, Conotrachelus
carinifer Casey, is rather widespread in the southeastern United States on some
oak species, but only recently has been of concern to chestnut growers in Georgia
(Payne et al., 1972a). Several methods have been proposed for control including
use of poultry (Reed, 1946), hand collection, hot water, and burning (Anonymous,
1958; Beattie, 1931; Payne, 1982; Payne and Wells, 1978); however, insecticides
are the primary method of control. Since the weevils (depending upon species)
spend 1, 2, sometimes 3 yr in the soil in the larval, pupal, and adult stages, the
soil can be treated with insecticides before the adults emerge (Payne et al., 1972b,
1975b). Adult weevils emerge from the soil during April-August but do not ovi
posit in chestnuts until August and September. Thus, treatment with foliar pes
ticides can be effective if applied before the adults oviposit in the developing nuts
(Payne et al., 1975b).
1955 1959 1963 1967 1971 1975 1979
Fig. 1-2. Fig. 1. Yield data from an 8-ha seedling Chinese chestnut orchard, 1965-1978, Cordele,
GA. Trees were 15 yr old in 1965. Fig. 2. Yearly U.S. imports of chestnuts, primarily Caslanea
sativa, from 1955-1981.
1983] P A Y N E E T A L . : C H I N E S E C H E S T N U T 191
An Oriental chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu, a recently
discovered pest in the southeastern United States, threatens the chestnut industry
in this country (Payne et al., 1975a, 1976). This cynipid wasp attacks the vege
tative buds and disrupts the shoot growth through formation of galls. Growers
with a few chestnut trees may reduce infestation by gathering and destroying the
infested shoots (Payne and Johnson, 1979); however, commercial growers can
not resort to this strategy because of cost. There are presently no chemical or
biological control programs for chestnut gall wasp and growers with this pest can
expect yield reductions of 50-75% (Payne, unpublished).
Chestnuts are a perishable commodity easily spoiled by fungi and insects. Ma
ture nuts typically are allowed to drop from trees and may lie on the orchard
floor for several days or weeks before gathering. Decay may begin while the nuts
are on the tree (Fowler and Berry, 1958; Gravatt and Fowler, 1940) or while they
are on the ground (Gossard and Kushman, 1954). Undamaged nuts contain at
dehiscence an array of weakly parasitic organisms that may cause serious nut
deterioration under unfavorable storage conditions (McCarter et al., 1980). Com
mercially, chestnuts may be held in refrigerated storage for several months before
marketing. However, losses due to fungi frequently occur, particularly at the
consumer level (Woodroof, 1963). In experimental storage studies (Hammar, 1949)
spoilage ranged from 5-10% after 1 mo to 15-60% after 7 mo at 2°C. Wright (1960)
reported that 62% of the kernels examined shortly after harvest contained visible
fungal infections. The most common fungi isolated from decayed tissues were
Phoma castaneae Pk. and Pestalotia spp. Of minor importance were species of
Phomopsis, Penicillium, Alternaria, Fusarium, Rhizopus, and others. Research
ers in Italy and France have found that the most common genera of decay fungi
isolated from European chestnut kernels in storage were Penicillium, Fusarium,
Phoma, Aspergillus (A. niger van Tieghem), and Rhizopus (Bidan et al., 1958;
Lanza, 1950; Riccardo, 1963).
Moldy nuts or nuts from which weevils have emerged are generally culled
during packing operations by flotation in water (Wilson, 1967). Because nuts
containing weevils cannot be separated by flotation, the weevils emerge while the
chestnuts are in storage or transit, and the damaged nuts then enter the market
channels. Although such nuts generally are discarded by the consumer, some
might be incorporated into processed chestnut products or food combinations.
The potential for consumption of spoiled chestnuts is increased by the absence
of visible mold on many kernels with incipient fungal infections. Penicillium spp.
were the fungi most frequently (40.7%) isolated from weevil-damaged chestnuts
(Wells and Payne, 1975). Next, in order of frequency of occurrence, were Rhi
zopus, Alternaria, and Aspergillus, each comprising about 17% of the total my-
coflora isolated. A high percentage of Penicillium and Aspergillus isolates from
weevil-damaged Chinese chestnuts were capable of producing mycotoxins (Wells
and Payne, 1975; Wells et al., 1975). No mycotoxins have been found on market
chestnuts, but the potential exists for toxin production should fungal development
occu r on k er nel tissu es .
The chestnut blight fungus, Endothia parasitica (Murr.) Anderson, that was
responsible for destroying the American chestnut, normally is not a serious path-
Fig. 3. Crown of Chinese chestnut with burs, photographed in mid-August. Fort Valley, GA.
ogen on Chinese chestnut (Graves, 1950). However, cankers induced by this
organism on Chinese chestnut are not uncommon (Headland et a!., 1976), and
seedlings vary in their resistance. Healthy trees generally resist the blight better
than trees under stress. Trees stressed by early frosts, severe winds, and cold
winters are more likely to develop disfiguring cankers that girdle and kill weak
stems and branches (Berry, 1951: Jones et al., 1980).
The European chestnut is highly susceptible to chestnut blight, but remission
of the disease in Italy has occurred naturally in recent years (Anagnostakis, 1982;
Elliston, 1981). This natural or biological control is associated with diseased strains
of the chestnut blight fungus that contain virus-like particles. These strains, des
ignated hypovirulent, have been detected on American chestnut trees in the United
States in recent years (Jaynes and Elliston, 1982). Current research efforts are
directed at using these hypovirulent strains to develop practical control measures.
They could prove to be valuable to orchardists growing blight susceptible trees,
such as C. saliva, infected with virulent strains of the chestnut blight.
The systemic fungicide methyl-2-benzimidazole-carbamate (MBC) has shown
promise in controlling infections of the chestnut blight fungus on American chest
nuts (Jaynes and VanAlfen, 1977). However, there are problems in its practical
application: annual injections may be necessary, foliage injury often results, and
the pathogen may develop resistance as a result of continued use of the material.
Chinese chestnut fruit is a large brown nut approximately 2.5 cm in diameter
and marked at the base with a light brown oval scar. Typically, 3 nuts are con
tained within a prickly 4-quadrant involucre or bur (Fig. 3-5). Cross-pollination
is essential for fertilization, and if insufficient, fewer than 3 nuts may develop.
Fertilization is not required for involucre development and unpollinated trees
often appear to have a normal crop set when in fact no filled nuts are present.
1 9 8 3 ) P A Y N E E T A L . : C H I N E S E C H E S T N U T 1 9 3
Fig. 4. Branch of Chinese chestnut with burs photographed in mid-August, Fort Valley, GA.
Dehiscence of the bur is preceded by an endogenous increase in production of
the plant hormone ethylene and in respiration of the involucre (Kays and Payne,
1982). Premature dehiscence can be accomplished with exogenous application of
growth regulators that release ethylene (e.g., 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid). Eth
ylene produced by the bur appears to function as a natural regulatory system
which triggers and/or facilitates opening of the bur. Burs containing rudimentary,
Fig. 5. Characteristic shoot, leaves, fruit, and nuts of Chinese chestnut {Castanea moUissima
Blume) (Jaynes 101, NHES).
undeveloped fruits resulting from pollination failure, go through the same dehis
cence process. As the bur begins to open, the seed coat of the nut begins to
change from a cream color to a light brown and finally dark brown. The brown
coloration starts at the tip of the nuts and progresses toward the base.
Nuts which are harvested prematurely through the use of mechanized har
vesting and bur removal, before normal color development, do not store well
(McCarter et al., 1980). However, prematurely harvested nuts may store satis
factorily if first allowed to mature within the harvested bur (Jaynes, 1969).
Chestnuts should be harvested daily when they begin to ripen and drop to the
ground (Reed, 1946). Traditionally, chestnuts have been hand gathered from the
ground after they have fallen naturally. This task is time consuming and the supply
of labor for such work is decreasing yearly. At the time of initial nut drop, most
Chinese chestnut seeds do not have the uniform maturity necessary for once
over mechanical harvesting. However, Peterson and Monroe (1977) showed that
when 4-9% of the nuts have dropped naturally a shake-catch harvesting system
can effectively remove and handle nuts in burs. Peterson and Monroe also de
veloped a mechanical means of removing burs.
1983] P A Y N E E T A L . : C H I N E S E C H E S T N U T 195
Ta b le 1 . C o m po si ti o n o f c h es tn ut k e r n el s ( f r es h w e i g h t b a s i s ) .
C. mollissi-
Constituents C. dentata' C. sativa' C. so/ivflC?)'' C. spp. unk'^ C. spp. unk'' C. dentata' "Ealon"'"''
Water 33.4 52.2 53.2 43.4 53.2 47.0 57.6 54.6
Protein 10.2 3.1 5.3 6.4 2.8 9.1 4.4 4.3
Fat 10.2 1.6 2.0 6.0 1.5 8.4 0.9 1.6
Carbohydrate 42.3 40.6 36.7 41.2 40.4 32.4 34.6 37.3
Fiber 1.9 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.1 1.8 1.4 1.0
Ash 1.9 1.1 0.8 1.4 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.1
" Robb as cited by Winto n and Wi nton, 1 932.
'• Colby ibid.
" Jaffa. 1908.
" Woot-Tsuen e t a l.. 19 52.
' Analyses. 1982. Analytical Chemistry Dept.. CT. Agric. Exp. Station, New Haven.
' "Eaton " is a C . m ollissima hyb rid.
Chestnuts are starchy and very different from nuts that contain large amounts
of oil. Chestnuts are high in carbohydrates (32-42%, fresh weight basis) and
relatively low in protein (3-10%) and fat (1-10%). The relative amounts reported
vary greatly, especially for protein and fat (Table 1). Castaneci dentata appears
to have more fat and protein than either C. scitiva or C. mollissima. The apparent
genetic variability for these nutrients could make it feasible to select or even
breed cultivars for high or low fat and protein content. Firm conclusions require
more analyses to provide information on variability of nutrient content within a
cultivar and within and among species.
Fresh nuts, unless properly handled, dry out rather quickly and become hard;
a condition in which they cannot be roasted or boiled satisfactorily without re
generation by soaking. Within a week, especially in the South, the nuts on the
ground or those in opened burs on the trees become dry or they can mold and
spoil. Under proper conditions chestnuts can be stored from the time of harvest
to late April with little spoilage. They can be stored for 4-6 mo at 0°C (Lutz,
1967), and up to 12 mo if the moisture content of the chestnuts is maintained near
40%. This can be achieved by keeping the relative humidity in the storage facility
at 65-70% (Woodroof, 1963). Only chestnuts free of mold or decay should be
stored. An effective postharvest treatment such as a 45-min hot water dip (52®C)
for the control of in-shell insect and fungal contaminations (Wells and Payne,
1980), combined with optimal storage conditions, should preserve the fresh mar
ket quality of chestnuts during prolonged storage.
Jaynes (1969) demonstrated that nuts stored for up to V/2 yr would germinate.
However, the hypocotyl of nuts stored for 5 or more mo often emerges 2-8 cm
and then rests until placed in warm-moist conditions. Such germinated nuts would
be undesirable for marketing. It is essential to prevent the formation of conden
sation on stored nuts to prevent decay. Varieties vary in their keeping ability
(Crane and McKay, 1946), and storage quality of a single genotype may also vary
from year to year. The problem of chestnut storage will be improved by intro
ducing cultivars selected for nuts that store well.
Complete and rapid germination of nuts generally required a pretreatment of
moist-cold storage (0-4°C) of 3-4 mo. Germination is usually complete after 4 wk
at 21-24°C. Occasionally, fresh chestnuts, whether sown in soil for germination
LU 30
^ 2 0
-10 -9 -7 -6 -5 2
T R E AT M E NT T E MP ER ATU R E 2 4 h rs ( C)
Fig. 6. Germination of chestnut seeds after exposure to sub-freezing temperatures for 24 h.
or held for consumption, are subjected to irreversible cold damage. Imported
nuts are known to have been damaged when subjected to low temperatures on
dockside after unloading. The critical temperature for Chinese and American
chestnuts appears to be approximately -6 to -9°C (16-2rF) (Fig. 6) (Jaynes, un
published). The species, moisture content, and time in storage likely has a mod
ifying effect on the critical temperature.
Modem, successful fruit and nut orchards are founded on selected cultivars
and this likely will prove true with chestnuts. Chestnut cuttings can be rooted
(Shreve, 1972), but the techniques described are not yet feasible for large scale
production. Commercially acceptable aseptic tissue culture methods have not
been developed (Vieitez and Vieitez, 1980). Stooling, a layerage technique, has
been practiced in Europe, but it is more labor intensive than grafting which has
been successful in this country. Numerous grafting techniques have been de
scribed, including nut grafting and chip budding hypocotyls of germinating seed
(Jaynes, 1979, 1980a). One of the oldest and most successful grafting techniques
is to whip-graft 1- and 2-yr-old seedlings. Larger trees are topworked by bark
grafting. Incompatibility is occasionally encountered with Chinese chestnut grafts,
hence the recommendation to propagate a cultivar on seedlings from open-pol
linated nuts of the same cultivar (Jaynes, 1979). Grafting, and especially top-
working, has proven most successful in the milder climates (Georgia and Cali
fornia versus New England) and where the chestnut blight is rare or absent.
1983] PA Y NE E T A L. : C HI NE SE C HE ST N UT 197
The largest use of Chinese chestnut seedlings is for home and wildlife plantings.
In addition to man, many kinds of wildlife including deer, raccoons, squirrels,
turkeys, and grouse feed on Chinese chestnut. When the American chestnut was
a major component of the Eastern forest, chestnuts were a staple in the fall diet
of many of these mammals and birds, and even farm animals. Unlike most other
introduced nut trees and native mast trees, such as oak, chestnut generally pro
duces a crop every year, even when given little cultural care. Accurate figures
on numbers of trees planted are not available. At least 180,000 seedlings were
distributed by state-owned nurseries in 1977, a 100% increase over 1966 (Chris-
tisen, 1979). Private nurseries probably sell many more chestnut trees than the
state nurseries. Availability of vegetatively propagated cultivars selected for home
or wildlife plantings would likely stimulate demand for chestnut trees by land
There are several problems in the United States that have limited the com
mercial production of Chinese chestnut (Chase, 1956; Hardy, 1949; MacDaniels,
1954; McKay and Crane, 1953; Payne, 1979; Wilson, 1967). These include insects,
diseases, a lack of concentration of plantings of standard cultivars, and no or
ganization for handling and vigorously advertising the nut. Shipments to the mar
kets have been sporadic with no effort to maintain a steady supply or meet the
demand of any one market; hence the prices have fluctuated widely and have
been generally uncertain. Attractive prices obviously cannot be expected from
any product that has no U.S. standard grades and is generally unknown to the
public. While there is a limited but loyal public buying Chinese chestnuts, there
are those who have tried the nuts for the first time and found them hard, chalky,
moldy, wormy, or mealy, probably because of inadequate insect control, han
dling, and storage. This has discouraged further purchases. This situation could
be overcome by growing selected cultivars, proper advertising, and further de
velopment of the mechanized harvesting and postharvest treatments that cur
rently exist for pecans and walnuts. In spite of all these problems, there is still a
strong demand for chestnuts and chestnut products, because we import over 4.5
mill kg of European chestnuts per year (Fig. 2). Our climate and soils are satis
factory for growing chestnuts, but the combined problems of diseases, insects,
harvesting, and marketing make chestnut culture a risky commercial venture at
t h is t im e .
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... The ACGW is a notable exception (Maldonado-López et al., 2015;Stone et al., 2002). Originally native to China, the ACGW is thought to have been introduced to countries all over the world through the importation of infected plant material EPPO, 2021;Martinez-Sañudo et al., 2019;Payne et al., 1983;Quacchia et al., 2008). According to the EPPO (2021), the ACGW has been identified in 28 countries worldwide. ...
... Perhaps the strongest argument against the ACGW as a vector of G. castaneae can be found in their respective ranges. The pathogen has been detected in Australia (Shuttleworth et al., 2012), India (Dar & Rai, 2015), Ireland (O'Loinsigh et al., 2022) and Chile (Morales-Rodriguez et al., 2021) where there are no documented occurrences of ACGW (EPPO, 2021) and was only recently identified in the United States (Campbell et al., 2019; Sakalidis et al., 2019) where ACGW has had an established and spreading population since the early 1970s (EPPO, 2021;Payne et al., 1983). Thus, the insect cannot or is unlikely to be acting as a vector in these regions, further supporting a different relationship existing between pest and pathogen.One such interaction could result from an increased attraction of the tissue to one pest caused by the presence or activity of the other. ...
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Gnomoniopsis castaneae is an important, destructive pathogen of Castanea species, initially identified as the primary agent of nut rot in Europe and Oceania. Although a decade of research has focused almost exclusively on its association with and activity in chestnuts, it has been identified as a mild pathogen or endophyte in multiple other hardwood species, whose roles as potential reservoirs and hosts have remained unexplored. Though the origin of the disease is unknown, it is thought to be a ubiquitous endophyte that has potentially shifted to pathogenic activity as a result of global climate change. Yet there is evidence of the expansion of the range of the pathogen as it continues to be identified in new regions, suggesting some degree of introduction is occurring. Its recent discovery in the United States brings a new urgency to the need to understand the full range and epidemiology of G. castaneae and to examine potential methods of detection and mitigation.
... Yield impact estimates are not available for Japan, although a threshold of 30% infestation of new shoots is indicated as the injury level (Gyoutoku & Uemura, 1985). Payne et al. (1983) claimed that the ACGW might have caused losses between 50% and 75% in the USA. In Italy, yield reductions of 50-75% and 20-90% were estimated for two different locations, but in the second case, losses were in combination with the nut moth, Cydia fagiglandana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Bosio et al., 2013). ...
... Yield impact estimates are not available for Japan, although a threshold of 30% infestation of new shoots is indicated as the injury level (Gyoutoku & Uemura, 1985). Payne et al. (1983) claimed that the ACGW might have caused losses between 50% and 75% in the USA. In Italy, yield reductions of 50-75% and 20-90% were estimated for two different locations, but in the second case, losses were in combination with the nut moth, Cydia fagiglandana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Bosio et al., 2013). ...
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... Here, we studied the parasitoid wasp Torymus sinensis Kamijo, 1982 (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Torymidae), which was introduced in Europe (Italy) from Japan (even if it is native to China) in 2005 (Quacchia et al., 2008) to control the invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu, 1951 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Dryocosmus kuriphilus is considered the most detrimental insect pest affecting Castanea trees in Asia, North America, and Europe (Oho & Umeya, 1975;Payne et al., 1975;Brussino et al., 2002), coming to cause yield reductions of 50-75% in the USA (Payne et al., 1983). This wasp, also native to China, infests chestnut orchards and forests, causing a progressive loss of the photosynthetic biomass. ...
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Highlights •Torymus sinensis can attack native species under laboratory and field conditions. •Molecular and mating data show that there is no hybridization with the native species. •We detected the presence of the alien species Torymus beneficus in Spain. •Decisions on biological control of D. kuriphilus by T. sinensis are discussed. BACKGROUND A common strategy to limit the negative impact of biological invasions is biological control through the release of specialized alien natural enemies. However, biological control plans are not without risks, which include parasitism of native hosts and hybridization with related native species, particularly those that are potential natural enemies of the invasive species. Here, we evaluate these potential risks resulting from the introduction of the parasitoid wasp Torymus sinensis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) in Europe to control the invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). RESULTS We found that, under laboratory conditions, the physiological host range of T. sinensis includes several native non-target species of Cynipidae, with oviposition observed on the galls of 8 of the 11 species tested. However, physiological host range of T. sinensis appears to be limited under field conditions, as we observed only one parasitized gall of Andricus curvator in the field. Regarding hybridization, inter-species mating between T. sinensis and its phylogenetically closest native Torymus species was not observed in the laboratory. Moreover, discordance between nuclear (ITS2) and mitochondrial (coxI) data does not support the presence of genetic introgression, suggesting that hybridization between T. sinensis and native Torymus species does not occur. In addition, we cite and discuss the unexpected presence of one individual of the related alien species Torymus beneficus in Spain. CONCLUSION Our results suggest that T. sinensis may negatively impact several non-target species, highlighting the need for careful monitoring of the extent of such undesired behaviour and its effects on the native fauna.
... Yield impact estimates are not available for Japan, although a threshold of 30% infestation of new shoots is indicated as the injury level (Gyoutoku & Uemura, 1985). Payne et al. (1983) claimed that the ACGW might have caused losses between 50% and 75% in the USA. In Italy, yield reductions of 50-75% and 20-90% were estimated for two different locations, but in the second case, losses were in combination with the nut moth, Cydia fagiglandana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Bosio et al., 2013). ...
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This study aimed to determine the pesticide use in grain maize production in the Yunak district of Konya province and the attitudes and behaviours of producers, as well as their knowledge levels about pesticide use. The model structure designed in the study; was prepared by benefiting from the questionnaire study developed by Günay, (2020). The questionnaire prepared by the researcher was adapted to the regional conditions. Based on demographic variables in the model, it was investigated whether there were statistically significant differences in pesticide use awareness, attitudes and behaviours on pesticide use, and agricultural pesticide supply characteristics scales.
... The Asian chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu 1951 (Hymenoptera; Cynipidae), is the most important insect pest of chestnut worldwide (Payne et al. 1983). It was accidentally introduced to Europe in 2002 (Brussino et al. 2002), and first recorded in Yalova, Turkey, in 2014 (Cetin et al. 2014). ...
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Rising temperature can affect forests negatively through its impact on insect pests. The present study focused on two invasive alien insect species (Dryocosmus kuriphilus and Leptoglossus occidentalis) to understand how rising temperature might affect their damage in Turkish forests. For D. kuriphilus, the timing of chestnut budburst, gall induction and emergence of its introduced parasitoid, Torymus sinensis, were monitored between 2015 and 2019, and each phenological event was compared annually with fluctuations in temperature to observe the parasitoid-host synchrony. For L. occidentalis, cumulative degree days (CDD) were calculated, and the possible number of generations produced in 2020 in different regions of Turkey were predicted. The CDD calculations were repeated under increasing temperature and different photoperiod-diapause induction scenarios. Evaluation of the monitoring data on the D. kuriphilus system showed that gall induction occurred at the same time as budburst, whereas T. sinensis emergence was independent from the budburst, and that the parasitoid-host synchrony was disrupted after the abnormally warm winter in 2018. The CDD calculations estimated that L. occidentalis produced one to five generations from north to south in 2020. They also suggested a significant increase in the number of generations in the southern Turkey under temperature increase scenarios. Including photoperiod as a time-limiting factor reduced the highest possible number of generations from five to two. In conclusion, rising temperature has a potential to threaten the biocontrol against D. kuriphilus, and it can increase voltinism in L. occidentalis.
Chestnut is a fruit with high carbohydrate content, low-oil ratio and protein content, including minerals, vitamins, amino acids and phenolic compounds which can have antioxidant properties. It has been determined that the amount and composition of phenolic components could change in according to environmental and growing conditions, and the variety of chestnuts having impact on protein content. This study was conducted to investigate the possible effects of boiling and baking on some physical and chemical properties, antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of Osmanoğlu and Sarıaşlama chestnut varieties grown in Bursa. According to the results of the present study, some physical and biochemical properties of raw chestnut were determined as humidity 48.78–56.57 %, ash 1.11–1.27 g 100 g-1, water activity 0.705–0.844, pH 7.03–7.29, color L* 60.52±2,64; a* 0.13±0,18; b* 12.39±1.57. The total phenolic compounds content was 129.17±6.23 mg GAE (gallic acid equailent) kg-1 in raw chestnuts, 180.97±18.25 mg GAE kg-1 in boiled chestnuts, and 149.86±7.95 mg GAE kg-1 in baked chestnuts. Also, the antioxidant capacity found like 0.42±0.01 μmol AAE (ascorbic acid equivalent) g-1 for raw chestnuts, 0.31±0.03 μmol AAE g-1 for boiled chestnuts, and 0.40±0.01 μmol AAE g-1 of baked chestnuts. It was determined that while the application of the boiling process caused a significant decrease in the antioxidant activity of chestnuts, the application of the baking process did not cause any meaningful change on the antioxidant capacity of the chestnuts. It was determined that there was a significant increase in the total phenolic compounds content with the boiling and baking process compared to raw chestnuts.
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Primera citació de Dryocosmus kuriphilus a la Península Ibèrica
This datasheet on Castanea mollissima covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Uses, Management, Genetics and Breeding, Further Information.
Asian chestnut gall wasp (ACGW) (Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu), an invasive pest native to China, was detected in Michigan, the largest chestnut producer in North America, in 2015. Along with quantifying gall densities, we tracked dates and cumulative growing degree days corresponding to ACGW life stages in five, seven, and nine orchards in 2017-2019, respectively. Gall formation, triggered by the onset of feeding by overwintered larvae, began soon after bud break. Most adult wasps emerged in mid summer, after pollen production peaked. Density of ACGW in all sites dropped sharply in 2019, probably as a result of larval mortality caused by severely cold temperatures in late January. Gall density was generally lower on Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollisima Blume) trees and C. mollisima hybrids, which share some coevolutionary history with ACGW, than on cultivars of European chestnut (C. sativa Miller) and Japanese-European (C. crenata Sieb. & Zucc. x C. sativa) trees, including the popular Colossal cultivar. Torymus sinensis Kamijo (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), a larval parasitoid previously introduced into the U.S. and several countries in Asia and Europe for ACGW biocontrol, appears to be spreading with ACGW in Michigan. Parasitoid larvae were recorded in four, six, and eight of the infested sites we sampled in 2017-2019, respectively, and parasitism rates ranged from 5 to70% of galls.
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Ethylene was produced by the Chinese chestnut fruit ( Castanea moltissima Blume), its rate increasing substantially prior to dehiscence. The primary site of synthesis was the involucre, rather than the seeds. Elevated levels (2 to 4 μl/kg-hr) of ethylene production by the involucre corresponded with increased respiratory activity; however, the rate of ethylene synthesis declined earlier in the senescence of the involucre than did the CO 2 production. Exogenous application of ethylene either as a gas or as (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon) accelerated the rate at which dehiscence occurred and improved the uniformity of dehiscence among seedling fruits.