The Swedish Research Council Formas has chosen a UPSC-lead research consortium as one of the seven new "Strong Research Environments". The consortium, which consists of 11 scientists from Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will share 25 miljon SEK during the five years' period 2010-2014. The project is called "Bioimprove-Improved biomass and bioprocessing properties of wood", and it is lead by Hannele Tuominen.
UPSC researcher, Professor Dag Lindgren, have found that balance among grandparents is more important than balance among parents .
For his contributions to the development of UPSC Professor Mark Stitt has been named honorary doctor at the faculty of science and technology at Umeå University. He will formally receive the high honour at the annual ceremony on 18 October.

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News clip from the ceremony
Åsa Strand has been awarded a Research Fellows position from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. This year the Academy offered 12 research fellow posts. The aim of this initiative is to create the best possible conditions for exceptionally gifted researches to carry out their research in Sweden.

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In human genetics, association mapping is a method used to identify the genes behind different traits. In the last issue of Genetics, UPSC researchers show that the same technique can be used to identify the genetic basis of important traits in a tree (aspen, Populus tremula). In addition, the resolution of the mapping is higher than in the case of humans so the genetic differences potentially can be mapped down to the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), due to the low linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the Populus genome.
Professor Göran Sandberg and Assistant Professor Karin Ljung at UPSC, has together with colleagues from USA, France, and Argentina been able to identify a gene called TAA1 (Tryptophan Aminotransferase of Arabidopsis) that is directly involved in the synthesis of the plant growth hormone Auxin. The gene is specifically activated during the shade avoidance syndrome, when plants in response to changes in light quality, redirects growth from leaf expension and branching, to stem elongation and flowering. The results are published in the scientific journal Cell: e-link

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On November 25--27, 2009, the "Third UPRA Meeting on Plant Integrative Biology" will be held at Champenoux, France. UPRA is a "European Open Laboratory" initiative between UPSC and INRA.
On August 30, UCFB (UPSC Centre for Forest Biotechnology), a Berzelii centre jointly financed by VINNOVA, VR, SLU, UmU and Industrial partners was inagurated by, among others, the General director of Vinnova and the Vice Chancellers of SLU and UmU. The official center homepage (www.ucfb.se) was also opened up.

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After a nomination by the Faculties at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a peer review by international experties led by Formas, 5 excellent researchers at SLU is awarded the "Excellence"-grants. Professor Björn Sundberg at UPSC is one of the recipients of the revard.
The researchers each receives 2 MSEK per year for six years (2007-2013). The grants intends to stimulate research at SLU and to strengthen the excellent researchers competitiveness.

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Professor Per Gardeström has coordinated an application that received 1 Million SEK in support from STINT during a two-year period. The grant will support collaborations between UPSC and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, UWA, Australia.

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