What will your Christmas gifts be placed under this year? Fraser Freezer? Douglas Douglas? Artificial tree?
While some individuals love the appearance and smell of a real Christmas tree, others prefer to maintain the low and longevity of an artificial tree.
But what if we could use genetics to improve the Christmas tree? Do you trade the fake tree for trees that lose less needles and require less maintenance?
Here are four facts about using genetics to seek out the most perfect Christmas tree:
1) Little is known about the genomes of Christmas trees. Meghan Molteni of Wired said last year:
"The pineal genome is not only enormous – 20 billion pairs of bases compared to $ 3 billion – but also very strange … At some point in the deep past, fir, pine, fir and its relatives acquired a whole second set of genes. They have probably helped shape these species in the world's tallest and most violent plants, but they have also made sequencing them an incredibly horrific challenge.In contrast to corn and soybeans, there was not much money to try. Nuclear (DNA) just for a bunch of conifers, do not ch For the most famous types of holiday Christmas trees.
2) Scientists and researchers are studying the genetic data from Christmas trees around the world to better understand the DNA of these trees and increase the ability for genetic improvement. For example, the Christmas tree murals program at the University of North Carolina has been operating since 1996 to develop the Christmas tree industry in the state through the application of genetic principles.
"We are sequencing DNA to understand the DNA of Christmas trees, and in the long term, this may lead in the future to genetic engineering," – John Frampton, a professor at the Department of Forests and Environmental Resources at the University of North Carolina.
3) Genetic research can lead to the development of Fraser fir which is resistant to pests such as Phytophthora root rot and adelgid Sufi balm. The Christmas tree spends 6 to 10 years before they are cut to be sold, and these pests can kill a tree before that time.
Phytophthora is an mushroom-like organism that can infect Fraser's fumes and cause yellow green needles, wilt, dead branches, and eventually the death of the tree.
Sufi is a small insect that feeds on fir fries and kills trees after several years of infection.
4) Genetics research also explores what separates the best needle carriers from the worst. Using branches of different trees, Gary Chastanger, a botany specialist at Washington State University, was looking at genetic differences in trees and needle retention. Cross-wire:
Today, the Chastagner team suspends the shelves on the shelves or the wire lines that extend through a temperature-controlled concrete tank, resting without water for seven to 10 days. A few well-trained technicians gently rub each branch and hold the needle on one scale (1 percent of the needles falling) to seven (loss 91 to 100 percent).
Chastagner only cares about the maximum on both sides of the spectrum. Over the years, he was taking any mind measuring zero to one, or six to seven small vaccinations of which on the roots of trees ran his laboratory on 15 acres in Puyallup. This process transforms each remote sample into an isolated place of genetically similar trees, maintaining its unique DNA in the so-called sensory constipation block.
Now, these trees are part of a huge effort to identify small genetic differences that determine why some trees appear better than others.
Six years ago, Chastagner and researchers at Washington State University, the University of North Carolina and the University of California, Davis received a $ 1.3 million co-financing from the US Department of Agriculture to find genetic markers to resist Phytophthora root rot and needle retention.
Katie Mäcker, a graduate student at Chastagner, is collecting isolates from Phytophthora in many growing regions. By determining the sequence of these samples and carrying out pathogenic experiments, McKeever will contribute important information in the team's research on tree resistance mechanisms. Once the researchers find the relevant genetic markers, they can examine adult trees and select the most promising sources as seed sources for planting viable Christmas trees.
The team will use similar techniques to solve the issue of needle spills. Chastagner's multi-contract cataloging of Christmas trees with varying degrees of post-harvest capture will be part of this project. Using these trees and other trees, scientists will be able to identify the sources of genes that keep the needle fast so that farmers can produce the desired Christmas trees.
Through genetic research we can improve fir trees used for Christmas trees and ensure the preservation of fir genotypes. There is a lot to learn about pineal genetics, but as Shastagner said in an interview with Wired, "The potential for genetic improvement in these species is huge."