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Title: The American Chestnut Foundation breeding program

Author: Hebard, F.V.;

Date: 2012

Source: In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Yanchuk, Alvin D.; Kliejunas, John T.; Palmieri, Katharine M.; Alexander, Janice M.; Frankel, Susan J., tech. coords. Proceedings of the fourth international workshop on the genetics of host-parasite interactions in forestry: Disease and insect resistance in forest trees. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-240. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. pp. 221-234

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Chestnut blight, incited by Cryphonectria parasistica, devastated American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Borkh.) Marsh) in the first half of the 20th century, killing approximately 4 billion dominant and codominant trees. Millions of small sprouts still persist throughout the botanical range of C. dentata. Most are not infected and do not flower, except for short periods, before the shoot is killed by blight. Around the fringes of the botanical range, isolated trees can escape infection for prolonged periods, reaching diameters of about 50 cm at breast height (dbh). In the heart of the range, fewer than 20 large (>33 cm dbh) trees are known to persist that have survived blight infection for longer than 10 years (Griffin et al. 1983). Those trees are termed large, surviving American chestnut trees. Some have low levels of blight resistance, but not enough for very many of their progeny to persist. They currently are being bred for higher levels of blight resistance (Griffin 2000).

Keywords: forest disease and insect resistance, evolutionary biology, climate change, durable resistance

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Hebard, F.V. 2012. The American Chestnut Foundation breeding program . In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Yanchuk, Alvin D.; Kliejunas, John T.; Palmieri, Katharine M.; Alexander, Janice M.; Frankel, Susan J., tech. coords. Proceedings of the fourth international workshop on the genetics of host-parasite interactions in forestry: Disease and insect resistance in forest trees. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-240. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. pp. 221-234.

 


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