Genetic engineering contribution to forest tree breeding efforts
Forests have multiple roles, including traditional timber and fibre production, to sequestering global carbon emissions, preserving water systems and providing ecosystem services and shelter for a variety of plant and animal species. Genetically engineered (GE) forest trees can play a significant role in highly productive plantation culture for commercial products, where they would be beneficial for specific purposes. We review the knowledge of transformation technologies, and compare the role of GE technology in forest tree breeding to traditional tree breeding approaches. The role of genetic engineering in the climate change context is also covered. Finally, we speculate on the importance of tree genomics for future forestry, genetic engineering and forest tree breeding.