Chestnut revival: How genetics could bring back an American giant

Dr. William Powell works to restore the American chestnut

It’s been over a century since the fungus that would wipe out the American chestnut tree was introduced to our forests. Only today does science finally possess the tools to reintroduce a blight-resistant variety to the wild. Dr. William Powell of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry explains his work, and how one genetic modification has allowed the creation of what could soon be the next generation of the American chestnut, and the first GMO used for conservation purposes. Fellow SUNY-ESF professor and renowned tree expert Dr. Donald Leopold tells us why this all-but-vanished tree is worth the effort.

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