With forests under threat, scientists work to create more resilient trees

By Maya Rodriguez
ABC Action News
September 8, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

RALEIGH, N.C. — Jack Wang is with North Carolina State University’s forest biotechnology program. Wang works in a special lab, where trees are genetically edited to make them more resilient. “We try to ensure that we change the DNA in a beneficial manner,” said Rodolphe Barrangou, a distinguished professor at NC State University. He is part of a team of scientists creating trees that are tailor-made for today’s environmental challenges. “Pest resistance, disease resistance, but also drought resistance, heat resistance,” Barrangou said. “Forests are unique; unique in the sense that they live for a very long time,” research partner Wang said. …”Our desire to optimize the tree genetic pool and make more sustainable forests is not new, but is just more relevant right now, arguably than it’s ever been,” Barrangou said. “And the sense of urgency with which we do that, the sense of awareness of people involved in it, is heightened.”

Read More