Wheat Genes Could Bring Back Chestnut

Scientists have introduced genes into the American chestnut from wheat that help disarm the fungus that killed almost all three billion of the trees in the eastern U.S. Three billion of them fed and sheltered many forest residents—until the early decades of the 20th century when a fungal disease called chestnut blight killed almost every last one of the trees. The blight came to the U.S. on imported Asian chestnuts, which are resistant to the disease.

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