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Increase in the biomass of the eucalyptus tree by the introduction of the CAB gene via genetic modification

Grant number: 98/01394-0
Support type:Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE
Duration: July 01, 1998 - June 30, 2001
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Forestry
Principal researcher:Carlos Alberto Labate
Grantee:Carlos Alberto Labate
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Company: Suzano Papel e Celulose S/A
City: Piracicaba


The objective of this technologically innovative project was the genetic modification of commercial hybrids of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus smith with the chimerical pea gene RSLhcb1. To this end, initially different methods of transformation were tested, using Agrobacterium, bombardment with microprojectiles and electroporation of protoplasts. The research took as its base the results of the expression of that gene in tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa), which promoted the increase in the biomass of the modified plants, in addition to a series of pleiotropic effects on the morphology, vegetative development and physiology. In conditions of light limitation, transgenic tobacco plants display greater photosynthetic capacity and synthesis of carbohydrates. Eucalyptus is an ideal culture for applications of this technology, due to its rapid growth and its capacity for vegetative propagation. The economic importance of the production of cellulose and wood as a source of energy demands that new technologies be incorporated into vegetal improvement system in order to increase the competitiveness of the Brazilian product on the national and international market. (AU)