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Other publication - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Tools and perspectives for molecular breeding of forest tree feedstock

Sundberg, Björn


Wood is a major lignocellulosic feedstock on earth, and will increase in importance as a resource for energy and material. A major goal in forest biotechnology is to identify and functionally understand genomic information underlying biomass production and material properties of the raw material, with the vision to use this knowledge in genome assisted breeding programs. Rapid progress of high throughput sequencing and comprehensive analysis of global gene expression provides ample possibilities to identify key genes for wood properties. Reversed genetics in model species offers a semi high throughput tool to screen for gene function. Association genetics is an additional tool to evaluate the link of a gene to a certain trait. Whatever approach used, wood phenotyping is critical for rapid progress and correct conclusions about gene function. I will present major initiatives on forest feedstock and biorefining in Northern Sweden, with the aim to establish basic knowledge about the wood forming process, to link this knowledge to the biorefining process through interdisciplinary networks and to put demonstrators in place. These initiatives also include Swedish spruce genome sequencing program that will pave the way for genomic research of coniferous species. I will further provide examples from ongoing research using novel wood phenotyping platforms for functional genomics of key genes in wood biosynthesis, and how we explore ethylene signalling and tension wood development to find molecular tools for forest biotechnology approaches

Published in

Journal of Biotechnology
2011, Volume: 150, pages: 114