BLACKSBURG, Mar. 3, 2002 - The USDA has funded a $575,000 wood fiber quality project, to be jointly carried out by North Carolina State University at Raleigh, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, and Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI). 

Because of the decline in Southern forestry in recent years, the goal of the project is to produce juvenile pine with both excellent wood quality and rapid generation time. It is hoped that this will boost the productivity and competitiveness of Southern forest markets, which have been overwhelmed in recent years by South American products.

As part of the collaboration, Dr. Jennifer Weller of VBI will provide a database to track the chemical phenotype, genomics, and genetics of loblolly pine cores that will be taken during the four-year project. Microarrays and metabolic profiling will be used to discover whether the phenotypes chosen are influenced by environmental or genetic factors. Metabolic profiling will help researchers better understand how to control pine genetics to produce the results they seek.

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Published by Public Relations, March 02, 2002