Friday, April 26, 2019

The Genetics of California's Oldest Trees

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the large multi year project that was conducted to sequence the genomes of the coast redwood and giant sequoia trees, which are some of California's oldest living trees. They are doing this to see which trees are better suited to adapt to a newer, warmer climate, and to see how the trees have adapted over the past years. While sequencing they found that the Coast Redwood is the second largest genome ever sequenced, with about 27 billion base pairs with 9 times the size of the human genome. Now that they have sequenced the genome they plan to observe which genetic traits perform better than others so that they can compile a sort of map for the future conservation of the different species in those areas. Researchers also find this work to be important as about 95% of California's old growth has been wiped out, so there is not much that genetically remains of the different types of species in these areas.   

I think that this article is rather interesting because trees are some of the oldest living organisms on the planet so I think it would be very beneficial to learn all that we can from their genetics while we still can. I also think it was fascinating to learn that almost 95% of the California’s old plant life is nearly gone, which sort of makes it even more imperative that we start to make more progress towards learning about, and conserving them to the best of our current abilities.  

1 comment:

  1. I also believe that it is imperative to gain as much knowledge from the species that currently exist as we can. From a conservation standpoint, there are a lot of benefits people can gain from the species that currently exist, like medicinal discoveries, but this cannot occur if those species go extinct. Therefore I agree that plant life and animals should be learned from, especially by sequencing their genomes in order to get a better understanding of any evolutionary connections.