Forest trees have a huge ecological and socio-economic impact. They provide the biomaterials for highly competitive forest industries. Efficient strategies for tree selection, improvement and clonal propagation are required in order to meet the increasing demand for forest products better suited for industry applications.
At the Forest Biotech Lab, coordinated by Célia Miguel, we are studying the molecular mechanisms that control key developmental processes in trees, focusing on secondary growth, ultimately responsible for wood and cork formation, and on embryogenesis as a tool for clonal propagation. A better knowledge of these processes will promote the establishment of biotechnology tools for tree improvement and propagation. Our team is composed of researchers with a diverse background (biology, biochemistry, agronomy and bioinformatics) combining complementary approaches including genomics and transcriptomics, reverse genetics and bioinformatics.
The Forest Biotechnology lab participates in several national and international projects (European Commission 7th Framework Program and H2020). Additionally, it integrates several national clusters promoting collaboration between academy, forest producers and industry.