For the first time ever, scientists used genetic material extracted from a dead tree for cloning
Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a non-profit organisation engaged in forest restoration, conducted an experiment to clone ancient sequoias. 75 new trees planted in the vicinity of San Francisco carry exactly the same genome as redwood trees that grew in Northern California 3,000 years ago.
The scientists used the DNA obtained from five dead stumps of over 10.5 metres in diameter. The trunk diameter of the largest living sequoia named in honour of General William Tecumseh Sherman, is less than 8 meters.
The importance of the experiment performed by Archangel Ancient Tree Archive experts is that it shows the feasibility of cloning ancient plants. Until the success of the experiment, scientists believed that plants could only be cloned using the genetic material of living cells.
The organization believes that in addition to the fundamental research result, the experiment’s application value is also important. Once mature, these redwood trees can sequester up to 250 tons of carbon dioxide annually, therefore, reforestation using giant trees can help fight global warming.