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Ames Forester

Abstract

The preceeding paper by David Thompson has explored the potential for mass producing selected trees by tissue culture. Here I will suggest using tissue culture in the processes of tree breeding and "seed" production. A few years ago the first plant hybrid was produced by a tissue culture technique called parasexual hybridization. Leaf cells were isolated from two species of tobacco, their cell walls were enzymatically removed, and they were induced to fuse into new hybrid cells that could be carried on through tissue culture techniques to become newhybrid plants (3). In this paper I want to suggest that an adaptation of this method for bypassing sexual reproduction could become the method of choice in the breeding of some pine species. My argument to this effect will consist of two parts: 1) Problems with the current approach to tree improvement that might be solved by the new approach, and 2) special features of the pines that might fit them especially well to the new technique. Some of the techniques and advantages described could also be applied to other conifer genera.

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