New cherry trees

So, the Japanese are finding that the cherry tree blossom ain\’t like it used to be:

The Japanese have for centuries celebrated the arrival of spring by sitting beneath cherry trees as their delicate blossoms open each year, but due to global warming and the impact of rising temperatures in cities caused by vehicle emissions, air conditioning units and other forms of pollution, the trees are blooming earlier every year.

Yes, we\’ll no doubt be told this is solely to do with climate change. More likely the urban island heat effect but….

So, what do they do? Yes, of course, create a new type of cherry tree:

To create this new super-cherry tree, the researchers used beams of carbon ions to induce mutations in branches of a Keiou-Zakura 13 strain of cherry tree. The branches were then grafted and cultivated to create a new breed that has been named the Nishina Otome.

That\’s how \”traditional\” plant breeding works you see. Take a lot of them, bombard then with radiation (them carbon ions!) and see what mutates. One of other of the thousands you do this too might give you what you\’re looking for.

This is, of course, much better than doing anything so vile as using GM, isn\’t it?

4 thoughts on “New cherry trees”

  1. Andrew Duffin: why? What makes you think using carbon ions as a mutagenic radiation source is implausible? I don’t know the specifics of plant breeding, but carbon ion radiation is a standard therapeutic method in oncology. Sounds like they’d be just the ticket for inducing DNA alterations.

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