TA feedback - BFW

Project Title: Genetic biodiversity and epigenetic stability of white poplar populations growing in Mediterranean islands, EpiBioPop

Applicant: Department of Chemistry and Biology, University of Salerno, Italy

Duration: April - May 2014

Feedback: During my visit I could learn the new method of molecular analyses like next generation sequencing (NGS). Moreover we analysed and compared some samples collected from me and site manager to obtain molecular data about white poplar biodiversity in Europe. The molecular method used (MSAP) give us information about methylation status of European white poplar and thanks to NGS we will able to have more information about the genome sequences employed in epigenetic modifications.

It is a wonderful experience. Thanks to the Trees4Future programme I could visit a European laboratory making a life experience very important for my future. Moreover I could learn a new molecular method and bioinformatic procedure very important in this scientific era.

Project Title: Molecular analysis of chloroplast DNA variation in Greek Prunus avium natural populations

Applicant: Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Duration: 16 September - 13 October 2013

Feedback: The main scientific achievement from my TA visit was the Next Generation Sequencing analysis that was completed for Greek Prunus avium, and for other haplotypes across Europe. We also confirmed these results with simple sequencing, and we managed to match them with RFLP data. Data are of very good quality and publishable.

I think that Trees4Future Transnational Access is a great opportunity for young researchers to visit other institutions and collaborate with other scientists. I am grateful that I had this opportunity and I wish I could repeat a short Transnational Access in the future.

Project Title: Determining genetic similarity between European beech and its cultivars by genetic markers (DEBS)

Applicant: Department of Forestry, Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Duration: 15 April - 15 May 2013

Feedback: The main scientific achievements were DNA extraction from 190 Facus samples, microsatellite analysis and determining genetic similarity between our samples (forest trees and ornamental cultivars of Fagus sylvatica).

We found out which cultivars (10 test trees were selected as sources of scions for grafting) are the most similar with beech trees (rootstocks). We will compare these results with the results of practical grafting. Genetic similarity information would be useful in a breeding program and could be a basis for successful grafting of ornamental beech cultivars and its mass production.

Overall, I think this is a great opportunity for forestry researchers to visit and use the facilities under expert guidance and build up a personal network of professional contacts. For me this was an opportunity to acquire more practical skills in forest genetics and work with a successful team in a fully equipped laboratory. I would like to thank the site manager Dr Berthold Heinze and his team for scientific, technical and logistical support.

Project Title: Genetic diversity of native Pinus sylvestris L. of Gerês assessed by SSR markers (MICROSAT-PSYLV)

Applicant: Centro de Genómica e Biotecnologia, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes, Portugal

Duration: 15 November-15 December 2012

Feedback: “Researchers are like ants, gathering small pieces of information of a huge puzzle”. This motto fits perfectly for Trees4Future project. This project allows researchers to access infrastructure and equipment needed to complete their studies and the EC grant subsidizes the costs of travel and subsistence. Researchers share knowledge and 'know-how' all over Europe helping science to move forward.

With a simplified bureaucratic system and the enthusiasm of all the people involved, I recommend all the interested groups or single researchers to apply.