The Bur Newsletter
In the latest issue of The Bur Fall 2023
• Patience and Fortitude Needed (Again)
• District Director Reports: What’s happening in New York State
• Bill Powell’s Retirement
• NY-TACF’s Annual Meeting
• ESF research updates
Darling 58 American Chestnut Public Comment Period has Ended
Thank you to everyone who showed their support for the Darling 58 blight-tolerant American chestnut tree by submitting a comment to the USDA!
Erik Carlson’s Interview on the Talking Biotech Podcast
Erik Carlson, an ESF graduate student, discussed the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project on Talking Biotech Podcast. In November 2021, Erik published a paper in Molecular Plant Pathology on the new lines of transgenic American chestnuts developed with the win3.12 inducible promoter from poplar (Populus deltoides), which drives OxO expression. The oxalate oxidase gene from wheat confers elevated chestnut blight resistance in American chestnut. The podcast discusses the background of the project, where the project stands, and the regulatory environment of repatriating a forest with engineered trees.
ESF’s American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project discussed their outcrossing plan, as well as how to pre-bag American chestnut female flowers, how they collect transgenic Darling 58 pollen, what to do when pollen is received, how to perform controlled pollinations, and how to protect nuts from animals during a virtual pollination workshop.
The Chestnut Tree Video
Produced by the Templeton Foundation, one of our donors.
American Chestnut Seed Engraving
Sergey Jivetin creates elaborate engravings on the shells of seeds, including a series carved on American chestnut seeds depicting TACF’s American chestnut restoration efforts. On the first image below, the lower right-hand nut illustrates the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project’s insertion of the Oxalate Oxidase gene into the American chestnut genome. The second image is a larger representation of that nut. To see more of Sergey Jivetin’s work, check out his website, Furrow Seed Engraving Project.
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We’ve all had eureka moments, those flashes of insight that, for most of us anyway, add up to little more than remembering where we left our car keys. But William Powell isn’t like most people. His eureka moment might change the world. Up until last year, Powell was a...
The USDA’s approval of GE chestnut trees would be a step forward for threatened species conservation
"It is an exciting time in the field of conservation and biotechnology. For the first time, it appears likely that a tree that has been developed with genetic engineering (GE) could be approved by U.S. regulatory agencies for use in restoring a threatened species to...
"At the turn of the [20th] century, ...the American chestnut was devastated by blight... The blight swept through the Appalachian forest at a rate of 50 miles a year, leaving the species as nothing more than an early-succession-stage shrub. Now, the American...