Sunday, April 24, 2016

The return of the Chestnut Tree! Maybe...

Scientists and genetic engineers are all gathering together to restore the American Chestnut tree. The chestnut tree used to be found in almost every state in America, but a couple years ago the tree has been dying out. The environmental department of State University of New York college recently had a brilliant idea of applying genetic engineering to help the tree. The death of billions of trees is due to a fungus called 'Cryphonectria parasitica'. Scientist will try to genetically alter the chestnut trees to resist the fungus. The enzyme or gene these scientist will be oxalate oxidase. This will counteract the oxalic acid that is secreted by the fungus. The biggest problem the scientist face is not the enzyme therapy, but the propagation of these plants. It is very difficult to propagate hardwood plants. Yet, the combination of charcoal and humic acid has been found to help propagation. I think this is really fascinating because they are really saving a species from extinction. Imagine what other species we can save.

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