[18 October/New Zealand Herald]

Crown research institute Scion have completed a draft assembly of the radiata pine’s genetic makeup, or genome, opening the door to a new era of precision forestry for the critically important species. The genome assembly began in 2013 and was completed last month, using the Rotorua-based institute’s newly acquired high-capacity computer server. With this knowledge, the forestry industry could hasten the current method of selective breeding to produce superior trees. Other potential applications could be in mitigating the effects of climate change and disease.