The Application of Genetic Engineering in Forestry: Factors That Prevent Its Commercialization

Abstract: 

Forestry is an important industry that provides wood, paper, and many other commodities. Plant biotechnology has begun to play an important role in forestry. Despite its importance, forestry is behind in biotechnology when compared to agriculture. A question of particular interest is the lack of genetic engineering use in forestry, and what factors have caused this. Several factors are likely behind this phenomenon, including genetic engineering limitations, forestry economics, regulation, and public opinion. One major limitation in forestry is the lengthy generation span of trees. Another issue is the lack of forest tree domestication. Genetic engineering is still limited in ability, and some trees are difficult to genetically engineer. Investment in forestry, such as tree plantations, can be risky. Also, the economics are complicated. Environmental concerns exist, and public opinion can be negative towards genetic engineering, which can in turn influence politics. Clearly, there are many factors with several connections. This study looks at the lack of genetic engineering use in forestry, focusing on the challenges faced in the genetic engineering process, and how this process can be improved. The experiment will analyze genetic engineering limitations by genetically engineering economically important forestry trees and analyzing genetic transformation success rates and transgene stability. The impact of transgene introduction on tree physiology and areas in protocols that may benefit from more attention will also be examined. Expected results are provided and discussed. Future research directions to examine other factors impacting genetic engineering in forestry are outlined.

Table of Contents: