ArborGen permitted to grow genetically engineered eucalyptus

| May 31, 2010
The USDA has approved two ArborGen permit applications for planting and growing genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, following the completion of an environmental assessment that concluded the field releases are unlikely to pose plant pest risks or impact environmental quality.

The decision will allow ArborGen to continue its research on the genetically engineered traits in eucalyptus, including cold tolerance, and authorizes the confined planting of the eucalyptus trees on 29 sites with 28 of the sites allowing trees to flower.

Earlier this year, ArborGen announced an agreement with cellulosic ethanol company Range Fuels to evaluate the usefulness of woody biomass as a source of cellulose for biofuels and to help Range Fuels understand the issues surrounding the planting, management, harvesting, storage and transportation of purpose-grown trees as a biofuels feedstock.