The wood chemistry platform was started as a collaborative initiative between Sappi, the University of Pretoria (FMG Programme) and the University of British
Columbia (Prof Shawn Mansfield) to support FMG’s functional genetics research, as well as tree improvement for commercially grown eucalypt and pine species
in South Africa. The platform, including an FMG owned HPLC instrument, is currently housed at the Sappi Technology Centre (STC) where the wood chemistry
team are implementing new protocols and using established analytical protocols to chemically characterise the major constituents of wood (cellulose, hemicellulose
and lignin). The technology is not only used to supply phenotypic data in functional genetic studies and breeding programmes, but also supplies valuable data
to generate and update near-infrared analysis (NIRA)models.