The increase in global demand for wood requires increase in forest productivity. There is, therefore, a need to invest more in the research and development (R&D) of high-yield, faster growth and short-rotation plantation forests. And forest biotechnology is essential to achieve this goal.
Biotechnology may augment traditional tree improvement activities by providing adequate tools to tree breeders and supplementing the production of high quality planting materials. Realising the needs, a joint industry-university smart partnership research programme between Sarawak Forestry Corporation and UNIMAS was sealed to provide requisite applied R&D and technical support for the development of plantation forests in the State of Sarawak. That included activities on forest genomics, biotechnology and tree improvement geared towards enhancing commercial plantation forests as well as a sustainable management of forest resources in Sarawak.
Using state-of-the-art technologies and approaches, development of adequate tools would enable the production of trees that are adapted to local conditions. The Forest Genomics Laboratory at UNIMAS are currently active in developing highly informative and polymorphic genetic markers/tools specific for identifying the genetic makeup of two fast growing indigenous tree species, Kelampayan and Sawih. These markers can then be used for a more accurate means of selecting trees for plantation and improvement activities of the species.
The joint R&D programme is also looking at the genetic transcript to better understand certain important cellular processes such as the genetic control of wood formation in the selected tree species; for example, which genes affect a desirable trait and how variations (mutations) in those genes influence an individual plant. By associating certain genetic makeup with a particular plant characteristic, early selection of improved planting materials for plantation establishment can be achieved at the seedling stage, thus resulting in a better economic return.
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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