Summary of TBGRC major research projects

  1. Genetic containment methods. The goal is to produce reliable sterility systems to provide high level genetic containment for when this is needed for ecological protection or social acceptance. We produce and field-test trees with engineered containment genes, emphasizing RNA interference (RNAi) and gene editing approaches. Emphasis is on eucalypts and poplar as sources of genes and test species.
  2. Floral transcriptomics of Eucalyptus. We are conducting "NextGen," high throughput sequencing of mRNA from eucalypt flowers, pollen, and fruits at several stages of development to characterize development and inform efforts to design novel containment genes with minimal ecological impacts on flower-associated biodiversity.
  3. Gene editing. We are studying the value of the highly effective CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases as tools to modify floral genes and produce stable, predictable, and complete genetic containment.