When many people think about biotechnology, they may think about genetic engineering. While that is a part of the biotech picture, it certainly is not the whole picture. Besides genetic engineering, there are two other types of biotechnology that are being developed extensively for chestnut breeding, especially toward the end of a blight-resistant American chestnut. These include sequencing, and marker-assisted selection.
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Several projects have worked to meld these various technologies together toward the creation of a blight-resistant American chestnut. The first project was started in the early 1990s by the New York Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (TACFNY) and focused on genetic engineering (link to genetic engineering page).
When that program first started, the genes and their location that controlled resistance of American chestnut were unknown. Since then, technologies to better pinpoint gene location and type have remarkably evolved. To take advantage of those technologies, groups of scientists have formed to take on the task of using biotechnology to assist in the creation of a blight-resistant American chestnut.
The first was the Fagacea project. Then, building on the success of the Fagaceae project, the Forest Health Initiative continued that work started there.