WASHINGTON -- According to the Associated Press, researchers have deciphered the genetic code of the black cottonwood, which could lead to new varieties that are better at producing wood, paper and fuel.

The discovery could greatly increase cultivation of the black cottonwood, a fast-growing poplar used by the timber and paper industries. As a result of the researchers' work, it may be possible -- in as little as 15 years -- to grow domesticated varieties of the tree that are optimally adjusted to grow faster, better resist insects and disease, and require less water and nutrients.


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