Prehistoric giant trees can appear in Europe, scientists say

An international group of scientists experimentally tested the possibility of one of the oldest trees in the world sequoias to adapt to the climatic conditions of contemporary Western Europe. As explained by the researchers, the choice of the object is due to its unique properties: the plant grows fast, its wood does not rot, and the bark is almost no light. A report on the experiment published in the prestigious international journal Nature Springer.

According to the authors, because of its unique properties, the Sequoia is very promising for the forest industry, but its replaybility to date prevented widespread plantations of redwoods outside its natural growing habitat – Pacific coast of the United States.

To test the possibility of adapting the redwoods to a more severe environment than California, scientists conducted an experiment for its cultivation in laboratory climate chambers that simulate the temperature, light and moisture in winter in some parts of Germany.

As told by the Professor of the Goettingen University, head of the laboratory of forest genomics at the Siberian Federal University Konstantin Krutovsky, the experiment showed that it is possible to select genotypes of Sequoia promising for cultivation in Europe.

The Professor noted that during the study, scientists at the University of göttingen was obtained a vast array of genomic data, which helped process the staff of the supercomputing center of the Siberian Federal University.

The experiment was able to study several hundred thousand genes of the redwoods and to the Assembly of the transcriptome of over 600 thousand unique transcripts, representing genome-wide expression analysis of the (process of converting genetic information into RNA or protein).

According to experts, because global warming more and more regions in Europe and perhaps even Russia may become suitable for growing redwoods, especially if possible to select frost-resistant clones.

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

"Redwood is a living fossil, which occupied a vast territory still tens of millions of years before dinosaurs. This is one of the largest, high and long-lived organisms on the planet with a height of more than one hundred meters, they can weigh more than a thousand tons, and the oldest sequoias live for more than two thousand years," – said the expert.