Andrew Tomes

Andrew Tomes

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Published on Jan 19, 2016

Finally Sequencing!

Hi everyone! I'm sorry, I completely dropped off the radar. Last semester ended up being a seven-day-a-week flurry of trees and soil and measuring things. I have my results and am looking forward t...

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Published on Sep 13, 2015

It's Happening!

It's the moment we've all been waiting for. I have, not 20 minutes fresh from the field, two bagged chestnut trees. I went out today to check on everything and noticed that the trees were starting ...

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Published on Jul 27, 2015

Biomass, Big Hairy Spiders, and the Beginning of the End

Time for some science!Greetings backers, readers, members of the curious public!One strange thing about this project is that between the bursts of activity and the long lulls of wai...

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Published on Apr 22, 2015

I'm Aliiiiiiive

Greetings backers! It sure has been a while. As I write this the PCR block upstairs is doing its thing for the fourth time now, and I'm really hoping it works this time. This semester's been a bit ...

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Published on Sep 22, 2014

Mission Accomplished!

The project crossed the finish line this weekend! I am incredibly grateful to all of you and excited to get down to business with my root tips this spring. In the meantime, I would like to send you...

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Published on Sep 18, 2014

Project Update + What I've Been Up To

First order of business: We're almost there! We hit the 90% mark with a week to go! Thanks again to everyone who's donated, and my fingers are crossed for the last 10%.This weekend, I'll be kicking...

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Published on Sep 08, 2014

Halfway!

Several days ago the project passed the halfway mark! This is exciting news, and I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed. Only 30% remains!This last week was quite busy here at mission control...

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Published on Aug 27, 2014

Field Season Part 1

The first stage of the experiment having been successful - the trees that should have had mycorrhizae did, and the ones that shouldn't, didn't - it was time to take the trees to the great outdoors ...

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Published on Aug 26, 2014

The Fungi Cometh

Once the chestnuts began to grow roots, they also sent out a chemical invitation that could be picked up only by mycorrhizae. Because the soil was harvested in the winter, the majority of the funga...

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Hi Joey! I'm not sure - the chestnuts weren't big enough to support the fruiting bodies when I harvested root tips the first time around, and they probably still won't be big enough when I go back in the fall. Another student in my lab did find truffle was colonizing the trees, though, so maybe it'll come up when I do my genetic analysis! And I'm sort of tangential to the C. parasitica story - I'm not working with genetically modified trees, but knowing how chestnuts interact with mycorrhizal fungi will be important to restoring them later. Bill Powell, who's down the hall from me, is in the final stages of getting approval for his GM trees and is ramping up production for release when the final paperwork is finished.
Apr 27, 2015
Can fungi help restore the American chestnut?
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Thank you! Between Experiment and some travel money from ESF, I'm hoping to come in right on budget with this project.
Apr 27, 2015
Can fungi help restore the American chestnut?
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As a matter of fact, one of the previous students in my lab did that for his thesis research. This project is an extension of his work in part to see if we get the same fungi on deliberately inoculated trees as were observed on the wild ones. Thanks for all your feedback!
Aug 27, 2014
Can fungi help restore the American chestnut?
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It's probable that the sprouts are coming back. Several researchers have observed that, while it doesn't particularly enjoy it, chestnut is capable of surviving for quite some time in a shrubby form. One of the nice things about chestnut restoration is that we still have a lot of genetic material available in the form of surviving trees and the few that still produce seed.
Aug 27, 2014
Can fungi help restore the American chestnut?
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Will do! Unfortunately, all the chestnuts in the lab are for research purposes and get stratified (buried in cold peat) to make them germinate as soon as they come in. This makes them decidedly less tasty!
Feb 19, 2014
Can fungi help us restore the American chestnut?
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