UK scientists have identified the country’s first ash tree that shows tolerance to ash dieback, raising the possibility of using selective breeding to develop strains of trees that are tolerant to the disease.
The findings, which could help ensure ash trees will thrive in UK woodlands, have been published in a report co-funded by Defra and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Ash dieback is spreading throughout the UK and, in one woodland in Norfolk, a great number of trees are infected. However, there are exceptions which demonstrate very low levels of infection by the ash dieback fungus and here researchers have identified one tree, nicknamed ‘Betty’, as having a strong tolerance to the disease.
The breakthrough comes after researchers from the government-backed Nornex project, led by the John Innes Centre in Norfolk, published the world-leading research report into ash dieback disease.
source – www.gov.uk
The report can be read here