Sunday, March 19, 2017


Then, in less than 50 years, the trees were gone. An exotic blight, accidentally carried over on an Asian chestnut variety, began infecting American chestnuts as the 20th century dawned. By 1950, up to four billion trees had died, two million of them in Ontario, wiping out 99.9 per cent of the species and radically reshaping the forests it once dominated.
Now, a century later, an American research team has an equally unprecedented solution: a genetically modified American chestnut. By splicing a single gene from wheat into the tree’s genome, scientists from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) have engineered blight-resistant saplings.

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