Using GMO technology to restore the blight-devastated American chestnut: State University of New York awarded breakthrough $3.2 million Templeton Foundation grant

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Using genetic modification to revive American chestnut trees
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[The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry] has received its largest-ever charitable gift, $3.2 million, to support one of the College’s most impactful research projects – the restoration of the American chestnut tree. The gift from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc., will support a full three years of research and restoration work.

The gift will support numerous aspects of the project, including completion of regulatory review …. [T]he research team submitted to federal agencies a 286-page petition that lays out the case for why officials should grant regulatory approval for public distribution of genetically engineered, blight-tolerant American chestnut trees that were developed at ESF …. The request must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The ESF team has developed new strains of American chestnut that can withstand the invasive blight that killed billions of the economically and culturally important trees in the early 20th century. The scientists add a single gene from wheat to the tree’s genome; the additional gene allows the tree to detoxify the oxalic acid produced by the invasive fungus.

Read full, original article: ‘Transformational’ Gift from Templeton Foundation Supports Chestnut Restoration

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