Michigan is the leading chestnut producer in North America. With nuts primarily sold for fresh consumption and also processed for value-added products, including chips for brewing and gluten-free flour.
We are working to identify, characterise and mitigate the diseases affecting commercial chestnut production in Michigan. Our current focus is on brown rot of chestnut, a post harvest disease affecting chestnuts globally that is caused by Gnomoniopsis smithogilvyi (syn. Gnomoniopsis castanea).
We are also conducting some preliminary work on the pathogen exchange between remnant American chestnut stands and commercial chestnut orchards with a focus on chestnut blight caused by Cryphonectria parasitica.