19 Feb
23 Feb

Umeå Plant Science Centre, Umeå

PhD course: Wood Biology and Biotechnology, 5 ECTS

events | seminars, workshops |
Wood logs

Development of novel wood-based products requires an understanding of the biological processes that lead to wood cell differentiation including cell division, expansion, secondary cell wall formation and programmed cell death. Currently though there is a lack of complete and updated information on these topics in a form of a book.

This PhD course will fill this gap and provide an overview of these biological processes, explaining how they lead to developing different kinds of wood, and how they affect wood traits of economic importance. Lectures and seminars are given by world experts in the field. Current tools for studying wood biology, wood structure, wood mechanics and wood chemical composition are introduced with practical demonstrations. Bioinformatics tools to answer student’s biological question on wood biology will be introduced and practiced during a training session. Social evening activities along with research project poster presentations by the students will allow free interactions and discussions among the students and the lecturers. The course literature is consisted of approx. 20 research and review papers suggested by the lecturers. Read the syllabus here.

Register for the reserve list of the course (2023-12-08: The course is full. From today when you register to the course you are put in a reserve list)


Time: 2024-02-19 - 2024-02-23
City: Umeå
Location: Umeå Plant Science Centre
Organiser: Umeå Plant Science Centre
Last signup date: 12 January 2024
Additional info:

Pre/post-course assignments
The students will receive literature to read before or after the course, and should bring a poster related to their PhD project.
For the full 5 ECTS credits, the students are required to participate in all course activities including social activities, poster presentation, and discussions, as well as complete and obtain an approval of a written assignment within 3 weeks after the course. The written assignment will be a short review or a short project proposal within the topic of wood biology and biotechnology, reviewing min. 15 original research papers, approx. 3 pages long.

Prerequisite knowledge
The knowledge of biology and biochemistry or microbiology at the bachelor level is required, for example, 60 ECTS in Biology including 7.5 ECTS in Cell biology and 15 ECTS Chemistry, or the equivalent.


Program outline


Cellular wood development, variability of wood structure in a tree, wood ultrastructure
Microscopy techniques to study wood
Practicum in wood anatomy
Poster session and social activities


Hormonal control of wood development
Molecular networks regulating wood development and secondary wall biosynthesis,
Mechano-sensing control of wood development
Demonstration of AFM and microfluidic system


C flux to cell wall
Biosynthesis of cellulose
Biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides
Wet chemistry of cell wall analysis
Poster session and social activities


Biosynthesis and biotechnology of lignin
Lunch with teachers.
Research seminars on current projects related to cell wall biosynthesis


Tree bioinformatics resources of UPSC
What can be learnt from bioinformatics resources for trees
Practicum on using plantgenie – students will follow their own questions


Edouard Pesquet , Stockholm University
Ewa Mellerowicz, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Francisco Javier Vilaplana Domingo , Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Hannele Tuominen, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Junko Takahashi Schmidt, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Kaisa Nieminen Luke, Finland
Marta Derba-Maceluch, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Melis Kucukoglu Topcu, University of Helsinki, FInland
Nathaniel Street, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Stephane Verger, Umeå Plant Science Centre
Tanja Paasela, University of Helsinki, Finland
Torgeir Hvidsten, Norvegian University of Life Sciences, Norway
Totte Niittylä , Umeå Plant Science Centre