Precision Breeding offers great opportunities to improve trees in areas such as
- increased production of biomass and fibre per hectare
- secured plant health and growth in a changing climate
- tailor design of biomass quality for end products
Within these areas SweTree develops solutions using Genetic Engineering technologies, including precision gene editing technologies like CRISPR/Cas9.
SweTree implement these gene technologies into customers breeding programs and share the value of the improvements achieved.
One main strength is SweTree's broad portfolio of trait gene technologies, which continuously is developed internally as well as in collaborations with academic partners around the world. SweTree has long-term and close collaborations with scientist at Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC) and a growing number of projects with scientists at VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie in Ghent, Belgium). In the new fully automated tree phenotyping facility, SweTree and UPSC continously test and develop new trait genes.
SweTree has also a continuous interest to evaluate new genes from third parties, such as Academia and Plant Biotech companies.
Automated in vitro Somatic Embryogenesis (SE) technology for large-scale production of elite plant material.
Somatic embryogenesis (SE) in conifers was discovered in the mid 1980s and is a method of vegetative propagation, where from a single seed one can produce large numbers of plants.
SweTree is developing a highly automated and cost-efficient method for producing large numbers of plants via SE. This will enable more efficient use and deployment of elite plant material. The species in focus today is spruce, but this technology could prove a good alternative for many different crops and trees.
SweTree is now setting up a pilot facility for SE spruce plants that will be fully up and running January 2021. In 2022/2023 the next step, after the pilot phase, is to start building a full-scale factory with the capacity of 20 million plants per year with SweTree’s Swedish customers Stora Enso, Sveaskog, Södra and Holmen.
Together with UPSC and selected partners, SweTree is also developing the use of Genomic Selection (GS) in combination with large-scale SE spruce production. When combining SE and GS, SweTree envision an increase of growth of more than 30% as well as a reduction of root rot of more than 50% in spruce.
SweTree has developed a collection of Poplar clones, that are bred and selected for commercial use in the countries around the Baltic Sea. These are of special interest if you consider planting poplars on agricultural land.
The Snow Tiger® poplar clones
- are fast growing
- are frost tolerant
- have straight stem form
- are suitable for growing in 15-25 years long rotations in Scandinavia and countries around the Baltic Sea
Contact our partner Ramlösa Plantskola in Sweden for buying these clones.
Larger land owners may contact SweTree directly for licensing your own plant production.