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index by sub-area 5.3.2. Strategies for the sustainable and multipurpose utilisation of forest resources; the forestry-wood chain
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POPWOOD - Engineering fibre and wood properties in Poplar using innovative functional genomic approaches

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01209
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-02-2000
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,583,830 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,829,292 EUR
Scientific Officer: Alexandros ARABATZIS
Research topic: 5.3.2. Strategies for the sustainable and multipurpose utilisation of forest resources; the forestry-wood chain

Abstract:
Recent developments in poplar genomics provide unique resources of new information that we propose to exploit in the context of the POPWOOD programme. The aim is to improve our understanding of genetic and molecular mechanisms controlling vascular development (VD) and wood formation, and enhance engineer transgenic poplars with modified fibres and wood properties. In parallel to the genetic and molecular genetic work, the analysis of juvenile poplar fibre and wood properties will be performed and compared to characteristics of natural wood. The main objective is to evaluate the possibilities of using young trees of just a few years old as a raw material for pulp production, which could offer novel economic opportunities to rapidly exploit transgenic traits.

Objectives:
Properties of vascular tissues, such as secondary wall thickness and xylem cell size, represent important parameters that influence wood structure and fibre quality in trees. A gradient of the plant hormone auxin within vascular tissues critically influences such parameters. Genes encoding auxin transport components have been identified in the model plant Arabidopsis (A.t). Many of the genes regulating vascular properties are likely to be conserved between the dicot tree, hybrid aspen and A.t.

The POPWOOD programme aims to improve our understanding of the genetic and hormonal regulation of vascular development in hybrid aspen by:

- selecting genes that regulate vascular properties, using a combination of genetic and functional genomic approaches in A.t.;
- manipulating vascular development within transgenic hybrid aspen by targeting the expression of poplar sequences that include auxin transport and signalling; and
- evaluating the novel fibre qualities and wood properties of transgenic lines.


Coordinator
Catherine PERROT-RECHENMANN
Centre de la Recherche Scientifique
Gif sur Yvette
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 69823588
Fax: +33 1 69823584
E-mail: rechenma@isv.cnrs-gif.fr


Partners
  Göran SANDBERG
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitët
Umeä
SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 907866304
Fax: +46 907865901
E-mail: sandberg@genfys.slu.se
  Sven-Olof LUNDQVIST
Stiftelsen STFI Skogsindustrins Tekniska Forskning
Stockholm
SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 86767151
Fax: +46 84115518
E-mail: svenolof.lundvist@stfi.se
  Malcolm BENNETT
University of Nottingham
Nottingham
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1159 513255
Fax: +44 1159 513296
E-mail: bennett@nottingham.ac.uk
  Simon TURNER
The Victoria University of Manchester
Manchester
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 161 2755751
Fax: +44 161 2753938
E-mail: simon.turner@man.ac.uk
  Klaus PALME
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaften e.V.
Koeln
GERMANY
Tel.: +49 221 5062610
Fax: +49 221 5062613
E-mail: palme@mpiz-koeln.mpg.de
  Rainer UHL
T.I.L.L. Photonics GmbH
Martinsried
GERMANY
Tel.: +49 89 8956620
Fax: +49 89 8594575
E-mail: uhl@till-photonics.com