Development and use of novel gene technologies to increase biomass yield in the woody perennial Populus spec
The objective of the work is the generation of qualitatively optimized poplar plants with increased biomass, altered lignin content and optimized plant architecture. This will be achieved by the genetic modification of genomic regulators for tree biomass yield, changes of lignin biosynthesis and alterations of branching patterns.
Biomass production can be increased by genes involved e.g. in vegetative growth capacity, vascular cambium activity, and secondary cell wall formation. The Thünen Institute of forest genetics is working with previously unknown genes that are expressed in wood as well as in poplar flowers. With changes in these genes, their function and their impact on the biomass production should be elucidated in poplars. The formation of higher biomass levels in genetically modified trees could be a starting point for legislation that would allow to cover a part of renewable energy with genetically improved trees. This is ethically acceptable and makes economically sense.
3.2012 - 12.2018
Project status: finished