DNA Research

DNA Work by Professor Joey Shaw

His findings revealed that the Alleghany Chinquapin (C. pumila) and the American Chestnut (C. dentata) are more closely related to each other than they are to the Ozark Chinquapin.   

J. AMER. SOC. HORT. SCI. 124(6):666–670. 1999. Genetic Variation and Population Structure of Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis Fenny Dane and Leigh K. Hawkins Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, AL 36849 Hongwen Huang Wuhan Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, People's Republic of China GENETIC DIVERSITY IN C. pumila VAR. ozarkensis

The American Castanea species have not recovered from the devastating effects of fungal colonization by Cryphonectria parasitica, even though many efforts have been made to combat the disease. Population genetic studies conducted on surviving American chestnut populations indicated that the species has a lower level of genetic diversity (He = 0.151) than Chinese (He =0.328) and European (He = 0.317) Castanea species (Huang et al., 1994b, 1998; Villani et al., 1991). The mean genetic diversity of the surviving Ozark chinkapin populations (He = 0.227) was found to be greater than that of the relict American chestnut, even though its range at the present time is limited to the Ozark mountains.

Video of Prof. Shaw presenting at our Annual Meeting, 2015

The study of the morphology, genetic diversity, and phylogeography of the American Castanea species can potentially help us find blight resistant populations to cross-breed while still keeping genetics pure. This series discusses the methodology of gathering this kind of information from field work as well as gathering DNA from samples of tissue (leaves, nuts, etc.).

You can watch Part 2 of this video on the OCF Official Youtube channel.