TRANSBIO SUDOE aims at promoting interdisciplinary and interregional research in the field of health & life sciences.
TRANSBIO SUDOE can provide mobility support (transport & accommodation) for scientists interested in setting up collaborative research projects.
Below the procedure to launch a collaborative project :
SW European consortium for forest genomics: Transcriptional regulation and post-transcriptional regulation of secondary cell wall in forest trees\\\"
Request for technical support : - Need of TTO's support to ease collaboration agreements : No - Need for identification of funding opportunities (regional, national, European) : No
Added value of the cooperation : The value of this kind of cooperation was successfully demonstrated in a previous project led in the frame of INTERBIO established between the French LRSV (Toulouse), and the Portuguese teams IICT/ITQB/IBET (Lisbon), in which the identification of miRNAs post-transcriptional regulation of biosynthetic and regulatory genes controlling the wood formation in Eucalyptus was achieved. This collaboration allowed the co-direction of a PhD student, which is still on course, the participation of both groups in an European Plant KBBE project leaded by J Grima-Pettenati, and the publication of one joint paper and in 3 more that are in preparation. The participation of the Spanish team, one of the leading groups studying cork formation, will be very important to develop the South-Western European collaboration on Forest Genomics. Moreover, the inclusion of on industrial partner (Altri Florestal SA) reinforces the consortium, establishing a bridge between knowledge creation and knowledge application.
The collaboration will complement the strengths and weaknesses of each group, allowing transfer of knowledge, of know-how and sharing facilities and platforms. This will be instrumental for implementing an integrated approach combining field systems and sampling (where IICT/ITQB/IBET have a good expertise and access to field trials from several companies), bioinformatic and statistical data treatments (where IICT/ITQB/IBET and LRSV have a long-track experience strenghtened by their respective bioinformatic platforms) and functional studies (where LRSV and UdG demonstrated being highly experienced and qualified), and forest breeding (Altri Florestal SA). Mobility of young researchers between laboratories will be promoted. Success of this collaboration will be demonstrated by the common publications that will arise, but also will allow to prospect for a more ambitious proposal among the three groups.
Summary of the proposal :
Forest plantations are important to provide raw materials used for industry, such as wood, resin, oils or cork. Recently, many studies are dealing with using forest plantations as a source of biofuels, which if planted on marginal areas, they will not compete with food crops increasing their prices. There are two main complementary strategies for exploiting forest plantations: the first is using non endemic trees presenting interesting commercial properties that allow maximizing yield within a minimum space. The second is using native trees that can provide valuable products in a more eco-friendly way. In South-Western Europe,, the two paradigms of these two strategies are the eucalyptus and the oaks, particularly cork oak, both being forest species with major economic importance. In that sense, Eucalyptus allows a high production of a wood with a very good quality for pulping and bioenergy, whereas the cork oak allows the sustainable production of cork without killing the tree. A better understanding of how wood and cork formation are regulated is a prerequisite to improve the management of these plantations increasing the benefit obtained and contributing to the development of rural and marginal regions.
Wood and cork are complex and highly variable tissues, whose anatomical, chemical, physical and technological features are ontogenic and environmentally responsive. Many of these features are similar between both tissues, since they originate from a lateral meristem during secondary growth. Both tissues share some enzymatic reactions necessary for their functions, both are characterized by typical secondary cell walls and programmed death of the cells. Many of the genes involved in wood and cork formation have been identified, but the mechanisms regulating these developmental processes are still far from being elucidated. The study of transcriptional (transcription factors) and post-transcriptional regulation (miRNAs) of gene expression opened new frontiers for a better knowledge of the mechanisms of regulation of many developmental processes. In this collaborative project between three partners, we propose to gain insights in the regulation of cork and xylem formation by identifying and comparing key transcription factors and miRNAs between the two developmental processes
We will put in common samples (e.g. developing xylem or developing cork), genomic resources (e.g transcriptomic data, RNA Seq). We will also share facilities; know-how and methodologies for bioanalyses and/or functional analysis (e.g Eucalyptus transgenic roots or transgenic potatoes), in order to identify and characterize regulatory genes involved in regulation of cork and/or wood formation, with specially interest on those involved in environmental responses.
The long term aim is to use this information to devise new ways to control the quality of wood and non-wood products (cork) produced by Eucalyptus spp and Q. suber, respectively and to provide to the breeders new tools to direct their work to the selection/production of genotypes with desired wood /cork qualities. This is of great importance in future production of pulp and paper, cork, bio-fuels and other bio-materials.
Ricardo RODRIGUEZ, Galicia Anais GONZALEZ, Barcelona
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