Transnational Accesses

TA feedback - FLOR

Project Title: Prediction of Aleppo and maritime pine wood properties using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy

Applicant: CETEMAS, Centro Tecnológico Forestal y de la Madera, Spain

Duration: 2-23 February 2013

Feedback: Main scientific achievements:

  • NIR calibration for maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) wood samples: we analysed more than 700 ground wood samples, getting the NIR spectra for each individual sample. We conducted wet laboratory analysis for extractives, lignin and cellulose content in a subset of samples for calibration. NIR spectra were also collected from Pinus pinaster solid wood samples, previously analysed with iTrax. Gathering all data, we will have set-up a new technique for wood massive phenotyping for Pinus pinaster and Pinus halepensis.
  • We obtained wood quality phenotype data (extractives, lignin and cellulose) for 750 Pinus halepensis trees from different provenances, covering the natural distribution range of the species. This information will be used in association studies with available SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) from candidate genes. Through association mapping, we expect to achieve a better understanding of the genetic basis of wood quality traits in Mediterranean pine species.
  • More analyses in solid wood (NIR spectra in wood radial strips) would have to be done to calibrate NIR for Pinus halepensis wood density.

The scientific group working at IICT- FLOR - Forestry and Forest Products Research Unit has years of experience in NIR technology. Scientific support was provided during the entire stay. We will interpret our results together in the weeks after our visit.

The group guided us through the whole process of NIR spectra acquisition and laboratory analysis for wood quality calibration. The scientific team at FLOR helped us and made things easy during our stay.

Project Title: Chemical analysis of secondary cell wall in poplar and eucalypts developed under environmental stresses

Applicant: Departamento de Biología Molecular y Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Spain

Duration: 10-20 December 2013

Feedback: Beside the transference of incalculable knowledge, the results obtained from this stay - alterations in wood quality features as a result of the environmental stresses imposed to poplar and eucalyptus plants together with further analysis of transcript profiling of selected regulatory genes involved in secondary xylem development (that we are carrying out in the frame of our overall research plan) - will allow us to associate modifications in secondary xylem composition caused by environmental stresses with changes in the expression of regulatory factors through correlation analysis.

This stay has been critical for our research plan. This is a great opportunity to transfer knowledge in the best way, directly from the source. Thank you so much.

Project Title: Characterization of Eucalyptus clones for charcoal, EuCHar

Applicant: CIRAD, France

Duration: 6-31 January 2014

Feedback: The main scientific achievements are:

  • the calibration for Eucalyptus urophylla wood, by developing wood and chemical property calibrations for the measured traits using PLS regression and NIR spectra collected from the different wood samples
  • the determination of the chemical composition of all wood samples taking into account the radial and longitudinal variation
  • the determination of the type of lignin composition (S,G,H)

This work was done in perfect interaction with the scientist in charge of the equipment. The experiments were made jointly and the results analyzed at each stage of the project. The technical support was very important with the help of researchers and technicians.

Project Title: Characterization of tropical wood by NIR, ATR-FTIR and analytical pyrolysis

Applicant: BOKU, Austria

Duration: 19 May - 16 June 2014

Feedback: With the help provided by the Lisboa partners, we were able to measure substantially more samples than planned. Pyrolysis is still ongoing and complete data evaluation will take some time, but the project will substantially advance our knowledge about chemical composition of tropical wood. It should also provide a useful model to interprete NIR and ATR-FTIR spectra in terms of wood chemical composition.

There was full support in scientific terms to conduct complicated experiments, as well as with logistics and administration. Partners were very friendly, always at hand in case of need. A functional lab with great experts for assistance serves as a good environment for scientific research.

Project Title: Biochemical characterization of the wood of transgenic poplar expressing transcription factors involved in the regulation of secondary cell wall formation

Applicant: LRSV (Université Toulouse/CNRS), France

Duration: 14 July- 1 August 2014

Feedback: During my scientific visit, I was able to analyze 130 samples of poplar, with different trasgenic constructions and control groups.

  • Samples were analyzed for extractives content when extracted with diclorometane, ethanol and water. Extractives contents were calculated by weight of dried samples after each extraction.
  • NIR spectra was collected for all samples on different temperatures and protocols, 22C and 60C, and also after samples were extracted, this way it was possible to colect enough data to formulate NIR models for poplar that can be used for rapid analysys by NIR on future visits. With those models we estimated the Klason lignin content and S/G ratio of all samples comparing possible differences between trasgenic lines and control groups.
  • After extraction, samples are ready for analytical pyrolysis which will be performed and provide further information on cell wall content such as pentose/hesoxe ratio, Py-lignin and S/G ratio, this data will also be used to calibrate the NIR models, reducing the error of estimations.

In summary all planned activities were realized, and analysis of results are underway.