Scientists Clone the Survivors of Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch elm disease is a terrible affliction that destroyed elm trees throughout North America and Europe. It is a fungal infection that is spread by the elm bark beetle. It is believed to originate from feline feces in Asia. Unequipped to handle the invading pathogen, the disease devastated massive populations of elms, nearly wiping them out. However, there are a few that survived which are now the foundation for the elm’s future. Scientists from the University of Guelph in Canada are working to make genetic copies of the survivors. The clones that they produce, which are resistant to Dutch elm disease, could lead to a revival of the species in their former habitats.

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