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GM plants could halve atmospheric carbon load

Genetically modified plants can play a major role in removing some of the 9,000 million tonnes of carbon added to the atmosphere each year, according to a study from researchers at the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study has looked at a range of possibilities that it considers reasonable to assume will be achievable using biotechnology by 2050. These include improving photosynthetic incorporation of atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant biomass; increasing carbon storage in low turnover tissues such as plant cell walls; and enhancing the amount of carbon stored as recalcitrant organic matter in deep root tissue that is eventually transferred to soil carbon stocks.



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