News FocusBiotechnology

Can Genetic Engineering Help Restore 'Heritage' Trees?

Science  01 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5560, pp. 1628
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5560.1628

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By the end of World War I, the American chestnut, which once dominated many eastern forests, had nearly been wiped out by the Asian fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. Now, forest-biotech researchers believe genetic engineering might help restore this majestic species--and possibly other "heritage trees" menaced by disease, including elms, white pine, butternut, and several species of California oak.