Dr Steven Hussey was one of three international researchers to present their work in an online symposium, “Hort Dialogues”, on 15 July. This is an online symposium series hosted by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and this month’s topic was “Biotechnology inputs for the agro-forestry sector”. Steven is the Principal Investigator of the Transcriptional Regulation and Bioengineering of Wood Development group in FABI and part of the Forest Molecular Genetics Programme.

Steven presented a talk entitled “Synthetic biology tools for reconstructing and bioengineering transcriptional networks underlying wood formation”. He discussed some of the exciting high-throughput technologies his group is using to reconstruct transcriptional networks underlying wood development in Eucalyptus, the synthetic biology parts collection he has developed for forest biotechnology, and the various reverse genetics approaches his group is using to study the biology of candidate genes. The future testing of synthetic genetic circuits in trees for the improvement of wood property traits was also highlighted.

The session was moderated by Prof. Jorge Canhoto and the other speakers included Prof. Margarida Oliveira from ITQB who presented on “Challenges of improving food production and quality” and Dr Poloma Moncalean of Neikar who spoke on “Biotechnological tools to achieve 21st century forestry”.

The seminar can be viewed by clicking here.