Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (SLU)

Location : Ume / Sweden
Leader : Rishi BHALERAO
Website :


The Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology of Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet employs 12 groups’ leaders that work on diverse aspects of wood formation and tree growth and development using poplar as a model system. The Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology is part of Umea Plant Science Center which is the largest academic consortium of scientists employing over 180 researchers all of whom use poplar as a model in their research.


The competence of researchers at the Department of Plant Physiology and SLU covers nearly all the areas plant biology from from molecular genetics to ecology. The Department of Forest Genetics and SLU has state of the art facilities for using functional genomics approaches e. g. metabolomics, proteomics and transcript profiling. The Dept of Forest Genetics together with Dept of Plant Physiology employs 5 full time technicians for large scale transformation of poplars. In addition the researchers have access to 400 square meters of secure greenhouse space for growing and maintaining transgenic poplar trees.


The major contributions of beneficiary P2 will be to analyse transcriptional networks associated with wood formation and identify key transcriptional regulators involved in regulation of secondary xylem development and cell wall components. Together with beneficiary P8, beneficiary P2 will also generate novel genotypes with altered secondary xylem development and cell wall composition.

Staff members’ profile:

Prof. Rishikesh P. Bhalerao is Professor of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology at the Dept of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU in Umeå, Sweden. His speciality is the understanding of the regulation of wood formation by environmental and hormonal signals in model plant poplar and Arabidopsis. Prof. Bhalerao has several years of experience in working with poplar and Arabidopsis and he heads the forestry functional genomics program at Umeå Plant Science Center. One of the major goals of the functional genomics program coordinated by Dr. Bhalerao is large scale cloning and functional analysis of transcription factors involved in regulating wood formation in poplar.

Laboratory website :


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