Developing a blight resistant American chestnut has been the goal of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project for decades. The development of blight resistant American chestnuts through genetic engineering and biotechnology required refining micropropagation protocols to achieve desired production of field-ready trees. The rooting and acclimatization protocol for American chestnut was investigated in order to improve micropropagated plantlet production. Multiple variables in the in vitro rooting protocol were examined for optimization, including light color, dark periods, length of culture time, activated charcoal concentration, and the additions of humic acid and vermiculite. An ex vitro procedure was later developed and tested against the optimized in vitro procedure and determined to be superior both in plantlet survival and quality. Also, ideal greenhouse conditions were determined by examining potting mix and fertilizers, both liquid and slow-release. Switching to a commercial potting mix improved seedling health by reducing drought stress, and increased seedling dry weight. Using an ex vitro rooting system reduces time, labor, and money spent per individual plantlet and increased the number of plantlets surviving acclimatization, in addition to significantly improving plantlet quality. The increased production rate of blight-resistant American chestnut plantlets will facilitate expanded inoculation studies for both Cryphonectria parasitica and Phytophthora spp., environmental impact and safety testing, and eventual release of the American chestnut back into its native range.
|Advisor:||Powell, William A., Maynard, Charles A.|
|Commitee:||Horton, Thomas R., Newman, Lee A.|
|School:||State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry|
|Department:||Environmental & Forest Biology|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Acclimatization, American chestnut, Ex vitro rooting, In vitro rooting, Micropropagation, Plant tissue culture|
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