C.Freeman is embarking on GMO Sphagnum fuscum research that he believes will be finished in 10 yrs.
He believes developing a higher level of sequestration, a higher carbon content, is the priority. Two alternate GMO targets for better fuscum are fuscum that has better water capture properties and fuscum that seeds faster or grows transplantable clippings faster. The latter traits would be useful for turning Sphagnum fuscum into an artifically harvestable crop analogous to agriculture. The former would modify fuscum's complicated water behaviour. It is easy to make it worse but the goal would be to enable a thinner layer of fuscum to maintain the hydration level of a thicker layer. In general, a 500 yr old chunk of peat moss can survive drought more than 5x better, than a 100 yr old chunk of peat moss can.