Crop Biotech Update

Walnut Trees May Not Be Able to Withstand Climate Change

December 2, 2011

Results of a study conducted by Douglass Jacobs of Purdue University revealed that climate change could have adverse effects on walnut trees.

According to Jacobs, walnuts thrive on areas that are not too wet or dry. Walnuts are sensitive to cold, thus the trees don't begin sprouting leaves until almost a month after other tress in the spring. Late spring frosts after walnuts have developed leaves could kill trees.

Charles Michler, project leader of Purdue's Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, said that walnut is probably the most important species in the hardwood products industry today. Thus, they putting much effort in their walnut breeding program that aims to find walnuts that may be able to stand up to the heat or cold stresses. They are also analyzing seeds from mature trees if the seeds have developed defense mechanisms against environmental stresses.

Read the release at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/111128JacobsWalnut.html.