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genome

Emily Burns, PhD, League's former Director of Science, reaches for the captivating cream-colored needles of an albino sprout growing out of a redwood. “It lacks chlorophyll, so it’s white, and it’s caused by a mutation on that particular sprout’s DNA,” she said. Further genomic research could confirm hypotheses that albino sprouts are more than parasites. It’s clear that the deeper we go into the redwood genome, the more we’ll know. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Mapping the Redwood Genomes

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Save the Redwoods League is leading research to fully sequence the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes — for the first time — utilizing conifer genetic sequencing techniques unavailable until now. By the end of this five-year project, the genome sequences and the screening tools developed will allow researchers to quickly assess genetic diversity in redwood forests to inform management plans that restore the health and resilience of these forests throughout their natural ranges as they face environmental stressors such as climate change.

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Sequoia National Park.

New Initiative to Sequence the Redwood Genomes

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We are sequencing the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. While the first steps in this project will happen in the laboratory, the goal is to rapidly put this new understanding of redwood DNA to work for conservation. To support vigorous coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in the decades ahead, we will need to protect not only the remarkable structure of the forest, but also protect the genetic diversity that underlies it.

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