New Tool for Untangling the Loblolly Pine Genome

Plucking a chromosome out of a single cell is an intricate business. But that’s exactly what U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists and partners at Texas A&M University will be able to do with a new laser capture microdissection microscope. The microscope has a laser beam 10 times thinner than a human hair,…  More 

The Olustee Experimental Forest

The 3,135-acre Olustee Experimental Forest (Olustee), located in northeast Florida was established in 1931. Part of the Osceola National Forest, the experimental forest served as the primary study site for a number of U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) units for almost 60 years. In the beginning, research on the Olustee focused mostly on…  More 

The Delta Experimental Forest

Located in Washington County, Mississippi, the 2,600-acre Delta Experimental Forest (the Delta) was established in 1945 by the U.S. Forest Service and is owned and managed by Mississippi State University (MSU). The Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research conducts research on the forest under a long-term cooperative agreement. Until the 1970s,…  More 

SRS Hosts 10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology, June 22-27

This week, from June 22 to 27, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Center for Forest Disturbance Science (CFDS) is hosting the 10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology (ISEE) in Athens, Georgia. This is only the second time the symposium, which is held every four years, has met in the United States. More than…  More 

Southern Institute of Forest Genetics Hosts International Student Visitor

Carmen Santos, a Ph.D. student from Lisbon, Portugal, recently traveled to Saucier, Mississippi, for an internship with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS). Santos will be working with C. Dana Nelson, project leader and research geneticist at the SRS Southern Institute of Forest Genetics, and biological sciences lab technician Chuck Burdine. “We have…  More 

In the Genome of Loblolly Pine Lies Hope for Better Resistance to a Damaging Disease

U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists co-authored the article published today in the journal Genome Biology that reports the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) genome. As the primary source of pulpwood and saw timber for the U.S. forest industry, loblolly pine is of great economic importance to the…  More 

The Emerging Chromosomes of the American and Chinese Chestnuts

For 30 years now, scientists have worked to lend the natural blight-resistance of Chinese chestnut trees to the American chestnut. With the advent of molecular biology, the possibility of transferring specific genes that may confer blight resistance is a tantalizing promise, but as Nurul Faridi, a U.S. Forest Service research geneticist explains, “There is a…  More 

As Pollen Clouds Drift in, Native Pine Trees Hybridize

The natural range of shortleaf pine is vast, spanning 22 states. The tree grows as far south as Texas and as far north as New York, often in association with other native pines such as loblolly. Shortleaf and loblolly pines’ natural ranges overlap, although they tend to prefer different site conditions. Loblolly usually grows on moister…  More 

Shortleaf Pine: A Species Slipping Away?

Both shortleaf and loblolly pine are native to the southeastern United States, where the two species have coexisted and occasionally hybridized for millennia. Historically, hybrids were rare. In the 1950s hybrids made up just 3 percent of the pines in shortleaf stands, but since then their numbers have skyrocketed. Today, just two or so generations…  More 

Future Longleaf Pine Forests in Virginia

Southeastern Virginia marks the northern boundary of the natural range of longleaf pine forests, which once stretched along most of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains from Virginia to eastern Texas. Research aimed at finding the best seed sources to restore longleaf pine forests to southeastern Virginia area is also providing important clues for adapting…  More