The initiative plans to build on the extensive research already accomplished on the American chestnut by the American Chestnut Foundation and others as a model system for how biotechnology can potentially protect trees, and restore species devastated by disease. The near-term goal is to safely and effectively develop an American chestnut that is resistant to the chestnut blight and root rot, and which can be safely restored to our forests. While working to restore the American chestnut as the test tree, the program will discover new approaches to enhance the health and vitality of other trees, forests, and forest ecosystems. Download the FHI Science Plan Overview.
Society needs healthier forests and the ecosystem services they provide. Biotechnology is a powerful tool that under appropriate conditions, may be applied to forestry. Developing biotech trees to combat invasive threats is critical to improve the future of our forests and the benefits society derives from them.