The Demise and Potential Revival of the American Chestnut

Before a disastrous blight, the American chestnut was a keystone species in eastern forests. Could genetic engineering help bring it back?

“In the 1990s, William Powell, a professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, who’d been contracted by the state’s chapter of TACF to help solve the chestnut puzzle, had what he calls a eureka moment. For years, Powell had been examining ways to insert blight resistance directly into the American chestnut’s genome. If resistance was genetically complicated, he posited, a simpler solution would be to add a defense mechanism from elsewhere.”

Read the full story at Sierra Club