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  •  Cool words: Univoltine and thelytokous. (9+ / 0-)

    I've been reading up on the physiology of certain tree diseases, notably Castanea species (Chestnuts) and I came across these two cool words in a paper on the insect Dryocosmus kuriphilus, the Chestnut gall wasp, a pest that infects Asian chestnut species - sometimes reducing their yield by as much as 75% - and which has recently been introduced in stressed European chestnut populations.

    The paper, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 60 (2012) 67-73, fired off this cool sentence:

    The species is univoltine and thelytokous.
    Cool words.

    The first means "producing one set of offspring in a year."

    The second means "able to produce female offspring from unfertilized eggs."

    This paper was not my main area of interest - I was looking into the incorporation of genetically modified American Chestnuts (Castanea dentata) that are being evaluated to restore this magnificent tree to Eastern forests.   The genetic modification - one example event is L58 - incorporates an oxalic acid oxidase from wheat into the tree's genome, something I find really, really, really cool.

    Over 3 billion of these trees were killed by the introduction of a fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica from Asian Chestnuts in 1905.   This may have been one of the worst environmental disasters ever to strike North America, even if no one knows about it, with the exception of some specialists.

    Those etymology words are cool too.

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