ArborGen's GM eucalyptus survives cold winter
US forestry biotechnology company ArborGen (Summerville, South Carolina) is optimistic that a plantation of its genetically modified frost-tolerant hybrid eucalyptus trees at Loxley, Alabama, has survived one of the coldest winters for years, according to the news service, al.com press register. The trees can tolerate temperatures as low as -9°C, says ArborGen. They could replace some of the 9 million acres (3.6 m ha) of loblolly pines planted across south-eastern US used in paper production and as biomass feedstock, it adds. The company applied to the USDA in December 2008 for commercialisation approval, and if successful sees a full commercial roll-out of the GM trees taking place within three years.