A world-first DNA feat by New Zealand scientists could boost the way we grow the star species of our plantation forests. By completing a draft assembly of the radiata pine’s genetic make-up, or genome, researchers at Crown research institute Scion have opened the door to a new era of precision forestry for the critically important species. …With this knowledge, the forestry industry could breed trees with their desired characteristics – hastening the current method of selective breeding that can take decades to produce superior trees. Once geneticists understood the genome better, there could be yet more advances. “We could breed a whole range of different trees – from construction timber to biofuels.” Another major advantage could be in mitigating the effects of climate change and disease.