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New research has identified the genetic basis of resistance to ash dieback in UK trees, opening up new avenues for conservation.
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew sequenced the DNA from over 1,250 ash trees to find inherited genes associated with ash dieback resistance.
Study - Nature - Ecology - Evolution - Resistance
The study, published in leading journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, showed that resistance is controlled by multiple genes, offering hope that surviving trees could be used to restore diseased woodlands, either by natural regeneration or selective breeding.
Professor Richard Nichols, author of the study from Queen Mary University of London, said:
Genetics - Dieback - Resistance - Characteristics - Height
"We found that the genetics behind ash dieback resistance resembled other characteristics like human height, where the trait is controlled by many different genes working together, rather than one specific gene."
"Now we have established which genes are important for resistance we can predict which trees will survive ash dieback. This will help identify susceptible trees that need to be removed from woodlands, and provide the foundations for breeding more resistant trees in future."
Samples - Ash - Trees - Forest - Research
Samples were collected from ash trees in a Forest Research mass screening trial, which comprises 150,000 trees planted across 14 sites in South East England.
The researchers screened for resistance genes using a rapid, cost-effective approach, where the DNA of multiple trees was combined into...
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