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  (Source: Take Pride in Utah)
Sending carbon to their roots to become soil carbon could sequester it for centuries

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers claim that global warming can be fought through the use of genetically altered trees and plants.

The leaders of the study – Christer Jansson, Stan D. Wullschleger, Udaya C. Kalluri, and Gerald A. Tuskan – believe that creating forests of genetically altered trees and plants will remove "several billion tons of carbon" annually from the atmosphere, ultimately helping in the battle against global warming.

Researchers plan to increase the efficiency of these trees and plants' natural processes that allow them to remove carbon dioxide from the air by transforming it into "long-lived" forms of carbon. They would like to do this first in vegetation, and eventually in soil. 

Genetically altering trees and plants' absorption of light isn't all these researchers are looking to do, though. In addition, they'd like to make it so that these plants send more carbon into their roots as well, which would transform some of it into soil carbon. This could stifle the carbon and keep it from the air for centuries. 

Researchers are also genetically altering plants to "better withstand" the complications of growing on marginal land in order to produce improved food crops and bioenergy. This could increase the amount of carbon plants take in from the air significantly. 

The combination of genetically altered trees and plants sending carbon to its roots to be put to rest for centuries along with improved bioenergy and food crop production could yield results that are beneficial to fighting global warming and its consequences. 

This study was published in Bioscience.



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RE: Why the genetic engineering?
By JediJeb on 10/4/2010 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well of course the farmer do that when there is a profit to be made. If the company raise the price, you can always fallback to non-GM crop, and label them as GM free in supermarket, profit again.


Unfortunately it isn't that easy. GM crops like the Roundup Ready soybeans and corn greatly reduce the cost of keeping weeds in check while they grow. If you replace that seed with regular seeds then you spend more time and money trying to keep the weeds out, which if allowed to grow will reduce your yield. Also the price difference in the GM and non-GM crops at market is very little if any, which really cuts into your profits if your yield drops. Since most farmers have to sell to a vast array of middlemen it makes little difference if you stick a GM free tag on them. What is really sad is that the produce you pay a premium for in the store that says GM-free or Organically Grown, the farmer got nearly the same price for it as they would any other type of produce and probably had to work harder to grow the same amount.


RE: Why the genetic engineering?
By YashBudini on 10/4/2010 10:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM crops like the Roundup Ready soybeans and corn greatly reduce the cost of keeping weeds in check while they grow.


Until Roundup-resistant weeds show up. Then what?

But I suppose they won't stop until every plant on the planet is patented by some corporation.


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