Webinar: Biotechnology inputs for the agri-forestry sector

ISHS Secretariat
Webinar: Biotechnology inputs for the agri-forestry sector

Biotechnology inputs for the agri-forestry sector
Moderator Prof. Dr. Jorge Canhoto


Biotechnology encompasses a set of techniques, from plant tissue culture to genetic transformation and gene editing, with wide applications in the agriculture and forestry sector in what is usually called as green biotechnology.

For this seminar we have invited three specialists that will present their research on this field and will share with the audience the problems and challenges of this technology.

Date: July 15, 2021 (10:00 - 12:00 CEST)

This webinar has ended - the video recording of this webinar is available below for on-demand viewing

  • Dr. Paloma Moncaleán (Neiker - Spain): Biotechnological tools to achieve 21st century forestry?
  • Prof. M. Margarida Oliveira (ITQB - Portugal): Challenges of Improving Food Production and Quality.
  • Dr. Steven Hussey (University of Pretoria - South Africa): Synthetic biology tools for reconstructing and bioengineering transcriptional networks underlying wood formation.

The panelists:

Dr. Paloma Moncaleán (Neiker - Spain): PhD, developed and is in charge of the tissue culture work line in Neiker-BRTA (Vitoria, Spain). For the last ten years, as project leader, her work has been focused on the development of woody plant in vitro propagation methods by organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. Her team is focused on the study of the induction of epigenetic changes through stress application in Pinus radiata embryogenic tissue in order to get stress tolerance in the resulting somatic plantlets and the study of proteins, phytohormones and metabolites involved. Moreover, during the last years she has been the responsible of several technological transference projects to private companies in Chile, Argentina and Spain. Parallel, she has been the supervisor of 10 PhD students. Her professional trajectory has led her to be designed as deputy coordinator of the 2.09.02 IUFRO Unit about Somatic Embryogenesis and other Vegetative Propagation Technologies as well as to be Editor of Frontiers in Plant Science and Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture Journals.

Prof. M. Margarida Oliveira (ITQB - Portugal): Biologist, with PhD in Plant Biotechnology and Habilitation in Biology, Leads the Plant Functional Genomics Lab / Genomics of Plant Stress, focusing mainly on understanding and modulating the impact of environmental factors on plant development and quality. She directs the FCT Research Unit: "GREEN-IT Bioresources for Sustainability" (www.itqb.unl.pt/green-it) that gathers plant scientists from five Institutes (ITQB NOVA, iBET, IGC, INIAV and INSA), represents the Portuguese cluster of EPSO (European Plant Science Organization). She directed the ITQB NOVA MSc course "Biotechnology for Sustainability" since its creation (2016) until Jan 2021, and is a member of the Direction of the International PhD program "Plants for Life" (www.itqb.unl.pt/education). She (co-)supervised 28 PhD theses (plus 7 ongoing) and has 141 papers indexed in Scopus (5294 citations, h-Index 37). (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0095-1952, CiênciavitaeID: 311E-7431-9BCC)

Dr. Steven Hussey (University of Pretoria - South Africa): Dr Steven Hussey is a Senior Lecturer affiliated with the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His group is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic control of wood formation genes in Eucalyptus, particularly those underlying secondary cell wall formation. His group has published some of the first epigenomic data of chromatin structure and histone modifications underlying xylem development, and has developed the largest known panel of synthetic Eucalyptus transcription factor and promoter genes. The latter serves as a valuable resource for transcriptional network inference using high-throughput technologies, and potentially also network reconstruction using current DNA assembly approaches in plant synthetic biology. Dr Hussey's group is exploring various reverse genetics approaches for transcription factor functional analysis.

plant breeding
synthetic biology