According to an article which was published in the Sunday, November 29,2009 edition of the "Edmonton Journal" newspaper, and written by Allison Cross of the Canwest News Service,
"New research that decodes the genome of the poplar tree could help researchers make decisions about breeding and conserving future trees that will be better able to contend with environmental threats in Canada,such as droughts,scientists say."
According to the website: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Genome,:
A genome can be defined as
Returning to the article written by Allison Cross,
"It is hoped the findings will give researchers and scientists the tools to identify trees with genetic characteristics
that offer safeguards against drought,climate change and the mountain pine beetle,said Malcolm Campbell, a plant
biologist and vice-president for research at the University of Toronto Scarborough."
"Research by Campbell's team, published in a recent issue of "The Plant Journal", details how poplar trees use
"Each gene is like a line of code in a computer program," he said.
Campbell's research determined that, surprisingly, the poplar trees responded to drought differently at different times during the day.
"Previously, researchers referred to the drought response as though it were a single, simple program that ran all the time," he said. "The new research shows it's not that simple."
Drought is an increasing problem for forest trees and can sometimes increase a forest's susceptibility to insects, he said.
Campbell said researchers can take this knowledge of gene responses and develop diagnostic tools to help determine which trees will have the best chance of survival in a specific area.
If trees which can better withstand environmental threats are removed from one area for urban development, conservationists can plant them in another region to save them for use in the future, Campbell said.
"The tree is literally rooted in one place. It can't really outrun, either in terms of natural selection or physically, the pests and pathogens it may encounter in its lifetime."
Why did scientists chose to decode the genome of the popular tree first?
The answer is:
"Populus was selected as the first tree genome to sequence for several reasons," stated Jerry Tuskan of The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, this laboratory is part of the United States Department of Energy) "The genome is small, it is easy to clone, a lot of genetic information is available on this species, and a lot of scientists have studied it. The genome is a model perennial woody plant, is fast growing, and has several uses of interest to DOE and the forest industry."
source of image:http://www.fortliard.com/climate.htm