Poplar remedy for stress

Trees get stressed too! Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have identified the molecular mechanism that allows poplars, cottonwoods and aspens to adapt to stressors such as changing soil conditions. Victor Busov and colleagues at the University of Georgia, Oregon State University and the Beijing Forestry University in China, report details of their genetic analysis of thousands of genes in the only arboreal genome sequenced so far, that of Populus. Their discovery could lead to a biotech solution to making important trees, including crop trees, more stress-tolerant in the face of environmental change.