Michael Smith Laboratories researchers, Drs. Jörg Bohlmann and Brian Ellis, are involved in decoding the first tree genome of the black cottonwood or Populus trichocarpa tree. The sequencing effort identified more than 45,000 putative protein-coding genes in the Populus genome. This groundwork may lead to the development of trees as an ideal “feedstock” for a new generation of biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. The research was published in Science.