Matthews, S. A.; Trout, B. K.; Schlarbaum, S. E.; Bonds, W. D.
March 2003
International Oaks;Spring2003, Issue 14, p66
Academic Journal
While published material regarding molecular biology of the genus Quercus is limited, considerable progress has been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of growth and development in model plant systems such as hybrid poplar and Arabidopsis thaliana (Chaffey, 2002). Techniques of comparative genomics are currently being used to analyze the northern red oak (NRO, Quercus rubra) genome using information derived from these smaller genomes. NRO was selected as a species for study here in the southern Appalachians for several reasons. Economically it is the most valuable hardwood in the region and the tree faces serious challenges to continued natural regeneration. Furthermore, an NRO seedling orchard is available within the area. In this article we will discuss techniques and strategies currently being used to isolate and sequence NRO genetic material: the inherent difficulties in conducting this type of research on forest trees: the results collected to date: and how these results will be used to further the biological knowledge of this majestic tree.


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