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Feb 16, 2010

U.S. To Test Cold Tolerant GM Eucalyptus Trees

Brazilian eucalyptus plantation
photo courtesy of Big Lands Brazil
On 16 February 2010 AgroBio in Colombia reported on current research to produce cold tolerance in genetically modified (GM) eucalyptus trees.  This research is being conducted by the company ArborGen.

Field testing indicates that GM eucalyptus trees can resist cold to -6°C (21°F).  This will allow them to be planted in new regions where temperature drops to this level.

ArborGen has plans to grow more than 100,000 GM eucalyptus trees to be planted in 29 different locations in the United States.  These plantings will provide the opportunity to study GM eucalyptus for agro-forestry purposes. 

Other GM eucalyptus experiments are focused on creating trees that grow faster and have better quality wood.  The goal is to make agro-forestry more efficient and sustainable.

The eucalyptus tree, eucalyptus camaldulensis dehn is native to Australia.  Today, it is planted on 20 million hectares throughout the world.  It can grow up to 25 meters in three years.  Its wood is used in paper manufacturing and sometimes for fuel.

For more see: "Eucalipto genéticamente modificado resistente al frío," Agro-Bio (Colombia) Press Release, 16 February 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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