The American Chestnut Tree

  The American Chestnut Tree Rebirth Podcast

In the 1800’s some Asian Chestnut Tree seeds were shipped into California. Lurking in the seeds was a deadly pathogen, the Cryphonectria parasitica fungus, for which the native American Chestnut Tree had not yet developed a resistance to. This fungus has completely decimated this keystone species except for few few stands throughout North America.

The American Chestnut Foundation, ACF, was created to find a way to being back the tree to its mighty place in our environment. It has back-crossed desired traits in and back crossed undesirable traits out for decades. However, the newest weapon in the war on C. parasitica is a wheat gene enzyme, oxalate oxidase or OxO. This enzyme of wheat beautifully breaks down the acid required for C. parasitica to thrive. Hear some members of ACF tell their story and why we all should care.

William A. Powell PhD

  • Professor and Director, Council on Biotechnology in Forestry
  • Co-Director of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project

William L. MacDonald PhD

  • Professor of Forest Pathology at West Virginia University
  • Has held most of the executive positions for the American Chestnut Foundation
  • The American Phytopathological Society

Sara Fern Fitzsimmons PhD Candidate

  • Pennsylvania American Chestnut Foundation
  • Research Technician
  • Forest Resources



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