TACF Annual Meeting 2015 with Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium

The American Chestnut Foundation and Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium present Integrating Genomics Tools in American Chestnut Restoration

Asheville, NC The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) in collaboration with the Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium presents Integrating Genomics Tools in American Chestnut Restoration on October 23-24, 2015 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. The event coincides with TACFs 2015 Annual Fall Meeting.

This unique 2-day workshop will feature scientists from around the world presenting research related to elements of chestnut genomics. Topics include genome sequencing, genetic mapping, marker-assisted selection techniques, and more.

Many hands-on learning opportunities are included such as DNA extraction in the lab and a chestnut genome sequencing workshop with the scientists who actually did the sequencing. There will also be a field trip to the Penn State Arboretums BC3F2 seed orchard to observe variation in form and resistance within the advanced chestnut generation families.

During a Q&A forum, workshop participants are encouraged to ask genetics-based questions of leading experts to learn more about American chestnut research in the fields of genomics and molecular genetics.

Dinner banquets and keynote addresses are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings. Speakers include Dr. Angus Dawe of New Mexico State University, Dr. Ron Sederoff of NC State University and Dr. Antoine Kremer of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). Please refer to the attachment to read the complete list of event speakers and presentation topics.

Registration fees for this event are minimal:  2-Day Student Pass = $35.00; 2-Day Adult Pass = $99.00; Daily passes also available.  Click here for event registration and program information.

About The American Chestnut Foundation
Once the mighty giants of the eastern forest, American chestnuts stood up to 100 feet tall, and numbered in the billions. From Maine to Georgia, the American chestnut was a vital part of the eastern forest, provided abundant food for wildlife, and was an essential component of the economy. In the beginning of the 20th century the fungal pathogen responsible for chestnut blight, accidentally imported from Asia, spread rapidly through the eastern forests. By 1950 the fungus had eliminated the American chestnut as a mature forest tree.

In 1983, a committed group of scientists decided to do something about this ecological disaster while the species could still be saved. They formed TACF to initiate a complex breeding program to transfer genes containing disease resistance from Asian chestnut species to American chestnut. In just 20 years, these talented scientists and volunteers began to produce the first generation of trees that are 96% American chestnut but contain Asiatic genes for blight resistance. Now supported by more than 5,000 members and hundreds of volunteers in 23 states, the organization is planting and testing offspring of those trees as it continues to build and improve its breeding population. With the aid of many partner organizations, TACF is leading the restoration of an iconic species once on the brink of extinction.

The American Chestnut Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization headquartered in Asheville, NC, with 3 regional offices located in Charlottesville, VA, So. Burlington, VT, and State College, PA. The organizations research farm in Meadowview, VA has more than 50,000 trees planted in various stages of development.  For more information on TACF and its work, contact TACF Director of Communications Ruth Goodridge at 828-281-0047, email: ruth.goodridge@acf.org. Please visit us online at: www.acf.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/americanchestnut and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/chestnu! t1904.

About the Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium
Dr. Louis Schatz endowed the Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Pennsylvania State University in 1998. As part of this generous endowment, the Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium is held every two years to provide a forum for tree genetics researchers and practitioners from around the world to review the state of the science in advanced tree genetics, propose the most promising avenues of future research, and consider joint research programs and agendas for funding by industrial, government and private sources.

The Schatz Center encompasses app. 2200 square feet of research space and 600 square feet of office space in the new Forest Resources Building.  The Schatz Center is composed of a Molecular Genetics Lab, a Quantitative Genetics Lab, a microscopy room, a tissue culture room, and equipment rooms for freezers, servers, autoclave and dishwasher.  The Schatz Center is well equipped for high throughput molecular genetics and genomics, including genetic mapping, genetic diversity, analysis of gene expression, and next generation sequencing of transcriptomes and bacterial, fungal and plant genomes.  To learn about projects underway in the Schatz Center, please visit the Schatz Center’s current projects page, under Research.

For more information contact:
Ruth Goodridge
Director of Communications
The American Chestnut Foundation
(828) 281-0047