PostNatural Organism of the Month: American Chestnut Tree July 2009
From a series of artworks from the Center for PostNatural History. The caption reads:
This variety of American Chestnut Tree is engineered by a small team of researchers at the SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry program to be resistant to the chestnut blight that is responsible for reducing this American icon to a shrub. In selecting the genes to create a blight-resistant tree, researchers paid unusual attention to selecting genes from organisms that would not be seen by the public as controversial. For example, researchers chose a blight-resistant gene from wheat rather than a more commonly used toxin gene from frogs. This consideration of public perception as well as the environmental ecology is significant as this tree is among the first transgenic organisms to be designed with the intent to proliferate in the ‘wild’.