Mar 8, 2022
Backcross: How Do You Breed Better Trees?
Play • 20 min

Tree species restoration—especially with species that are threatened with extinction—isn't even on the table unless you have resistant planting stock. But, trees live on another timescale than humans—a much longer one. And, to be a geneticist, to breed, your job is to infiltrate that timeline, and to understand it. By understanding that timeline, you can begin to fiddle with it, fiddle with time, and with the future. The future of that plant, but also the future of our planet. Genetics allow us to make better trees, make a better world, and do it all by fooling our forests.

Related Research:


  • Jennifer Koch, Research Biologist, Northern Research Station, Delaware, Ohio

Produced by the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.

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