News: Maine Progress Update 2023
Using advanced gene analysis, researchers recently discovered that chestnut blight resistance is a much more complex trait than originally thought. This explains why we are not seeing the level of blight resistance in our back crosses that we expected after 25 years of back-cross breeding. Additional genetic testing of trees is underway to enable chapters to identify their most resistant trees for future breeding through best by best crosses.
In light of this news, the approach going forward aims to cross the transgenic Darling 58 tree with the best trees emerging from our traditional back-cross breeding program. Our success hinges on federal approval of the D58 chestnut in 2023. You can put your finger on the scale by sending a simple statement of your support for deregulation by December 27, 2023. Here’s how: