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BEYOND CROP BIOTECH: BIOTECH GIVES HOPE FOR AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREE

Date : 24 August 2012

Researchers from different institutions have long been studying how to save the American chestnut tree from fungal infection. Researchers from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have developed chestnut blight resistant trees through conventional breeding by crossing the American tree with a Chinese variety.

Another project involving genetic engineering shed a new light on the investigation. The research team from the same university found a gene present in wheat and other grass species that can detoxify oxalate, which is produced by the blight. They are also currently testing the same gene for its pathogen resistance in crops.

If the project would be successful, then other endangered trees might also be saved from being wiped out by other detrimental diseases.