Correction - I meant backcross to BC3, not BCF3. -----Original Message----- From: pbs [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Tim Eck Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014 6:51 AM To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' Subject: Re: [pbs] Sharing seeds of rare plants In The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) we have seen our share of reactionary fervor regarding 'purity' of plant genetics. Our membership doesn't include the most extreme because of our goals to breed the blight resistance genes of the Chinese chestnut into the American. The original plan was to backcross to the BCF3 (15/16 American) and then intercross for homozygosity of the blight resistance genes, leaving us with about 94% American genetics. There are those who think this is a travesty and they go crazy when they hear about the NY chapter's program to insert the wheat rust oxalic oxidase gene into the American chestnut through transgenics. (Cryphonectria parasitica attacks the cambium by killing live cells with oxalic acid and then consuming the dead tissue which actually makes it a saprophyte rather than a parasite. Breaking down the oxalic acid is a defense against this attack.) The interesting response has been that people are more horrified by the transgenics which saves a 100% American chestnut genome than by the hybridization which saves a 94% American genome (actually, it saves ~100% in the population but 94% in the individual). I have often made the same analogy to Hitler as Tony in the reaction of the ignorant to this genetic manipulation. I have also been amazed at the reaction of organic gardeners to transgenics - they will spray Bt on their corn but they won't plant corn with Bt already in it.