Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preserving Pine's Genetic Heritage

Date:
January 22, 2002
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Scientists are working against the clock to collect genetic information from one of the last remaining natural stands of radiata pine on the island of Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico. The genetic heritage of this species, one of the world’s most widely grown trees, is under threat from fungal infection and ravenous goats.

Scientists are working against the clock to collect genetic information from one of the last remaining natural stands of radiata pine on the island of Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico.

Related Articles


The genetic heritage of this species, one of the world’s most widely grown trees, is under threat from fungal infection and ravenous goats.

“Australia’s radiata plantations are much less diverse than the native populations although they occupy a much greater area,” says Dr Colin Matheson of CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, who joined researchers from American and Mexican universities on an expedition to Guadalupe Island in May 2001.

“CSIRO does a lot of breeding work with industry and we need to access as much genetic material as possible to continue a program of tree improvement,” he says.

Dr Matheson continues, “In particular, we are interested in the Guadalupe Island trees as they grow in a dry climate and have higher density wood. We are investigating planting radiata in drier parts of the Murray Darling Basin beyond the range currently thought of as economically viable”.

With a world wide plantation area totalling around 4 million hectares radiata pine is a very versatile species and is used widely in Australia for building and construction, for paper making, in composite wood products and in hygiene products.

Natural stands of radiata pine are now very limited with three on the Californian coast and two on islands off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

The Californian stands are infected with a fungal disease called pitch canker which is carried inside the actual pine seed. This means seeds from these stands cannot be imported into Australia until a treatment that can eliminate the fungus without killing the seed is developed. Previous collections, made before the disease appeared, have sampled these mainland populations.

The stand of just 220 trees on the rugged Mexican island of Guadalupe is currently in good health but is under threat from the voracious appetites of the island’s goat population, which make a quick meal of any young seedlings.

“While the existing trees mostly look healthy, the stand’s survival prospects are uncertain. Its long-term future may depend on the success of current efforts to capture all the island’s goats and ship them to the mainland,” says Dr Matheson.

Each seed sample collected by Matheson and his colleagues has been carefully recorded noting the tree that it came from and the exact the location of the tree.

“We hope that, after quarantine requirements have been met, this seed can be brought into Australia and tested in low-rainfall areas”.

“The task of collecting these valuable seeds was physically extremely challenging,” says Dr Matheson. “The trees grow at altitudes of up to 1200 metres along the rim of a volcano and reaching them required a steep and rough 300 metre climb from our camp site. We then had to walk about 6-7 km to the furthest trees down a sloping, rocky ridge to an altitude of 500m. The worst bit was carrying the pine cones back to camp!”

The expedition was partly sponsored by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Preserving Pine's Genetic Heritage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020122071827.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2002, January 22). Preserving Pine's Genetic Heritage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020122071827.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Preserving Pine's Genetic Heritage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020122071827.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins