Biotech Updates

GM Trees and Plants Could Help Counter Global Warming

October 8, 2010

According to a study conducted by Christer Jansson and other researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, forests containing genetically engineered trees and plants could sequester multiple billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year and so help decrease global warming.

The study highlights different strategies to enhance plant's ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the air and transform it into long-lived forms of carbon. Aside from improving the plants' light absorption, scientists might explore on genetically engineering plants to send more carbon into their roots-where some may be transformed into soil carbon and stay out of circulation for centuries. Another strategy is to alter the genes of the plants to tolerate the stresses of growing on marginal land, and so they produce enhanced bioenergy and food crops.

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