Tuesday, October 9, 2012

American Chestnut Restoration

Nature.com, the international weekly journal of science, recentently provided a thorough overview of the American chestnut tree.  The article covers everything from the chestnuts demise to the current restoration efforts.  The article was written by Hellen Thompson and released on October 3, 2012.  I have provided a link to the full article below.

In addition, you may also be interested in the chestnut restoration efforts of the American Chestnut Foundation.  The foundation works to restore the American chestnut by combining modern technology and tools with top scientific tallent including geneticists, tree breeders, and biologists.  Their research efforts focus on backcrossing blight resistant Chinese trees with pure American trees.  In time, the project takes 6 generations or more of trees, they hope to have a blight resistant tree with the classic appearance of American chestnut.

Plant Science: The Chestnut Resurrection
Once king of eastern forests, the American chestnut was wiped out by blight. Now it is poised to rise again.
Helen Thompson
October 3, 2012
Until a century ago, the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was the cornerstone tree species of eastern North America. With long, straight trunks and bushy crowns, it carpeted the forest floor each autumn with prickly brown nuts. But the arrival of chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) from Asia wiped out almost all the stately trees, leaving only a few, isolated stands. Since then, a faithful fan club of scientists and citizens has sought to tame the blight.  To read the full story click here.

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