Relic giant trees may appear in Western Europe

(ORDO NEWS) — An international group of scientists experimentally tested the ability of one of the oldest trees on the planet – sequoias – to adapt to the climatic conditions of modern Western Europe. As the researchers explained, the choice of the object is explained by its unique properties: the tree grows quickly, its wood does not rot, and its bark practically does not burn. The report of the experiment was published in the prestigious international journal Springer Nature.

According to the authors of the work, because of its unique properties, sequoia is very promising for the forest industry, but its thermophilicity has so far prevented the widespread distribution of sequoia plantations outside its natural habitat – the Pacific coast of the United States.

To test the ability of redwoods to adapt to harsher habitats than California, scientists conducted an experiment on growing them in laboratory climate chambers that simulate temperature, light and humidity in winter in some parts of Germany.

According to Konstantin Krutovsky, professor at the University of Göttingen, head of the forest genomics laboratory at Siberian Federal University, the experiment showed that it is possible to select genotypes of sequoias that are promising for cultivation in Europe.

“We studied the behavior of sequoia clones with different genotypes under the influence of low temperatures: we sequenced total RNA and studied differential expression. ed.) “, – said Krutovsky.

The professor noted that in the process of research, scientists from the University of Göttingen obtained a huge array of genomic data, which was helped by the staff of the supercomputer center of the Siberian Federal University.

During the experiment, it was possible to study several hundred thousand genes of the sequoia and obtain an assembly of a transcriptome from more than 600 thousand unique transcripts representing a genome-wide analysis of expression (the process of converting hereditary information into RNA or protein).

According to the expert, due to global warming, more and more areas in Europe and, possibly, even in Russia, may become suitable for growing sequoias, especially if it is possible to select frost-resistant clones.

According to him, sequoia can actively reproduce vegetatively: new trees grow from the roots and stumps of felled, felled and dead plants. This makes it easy to propagate genotypes and clones of sequoia.

“Sequoias are living fossils that occupied a vast territory tens of millions of years before dinosaurs. They are one of the largest, tallest and longest-lived organisms on our planet – at an altitude of more than one hundred meters, they can weigh more than a thousand tons, and the oldest living sequoias more than two thousand years,” the expert noted.


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