MULTIFOREVER is one of the 17 successful projects of the first call for proposals of the European ForestValue programme, "innovating forest-based bioeconomy". The 7 partners (including FCBA and INRAE) from 6 countries in Europe (France, Germany/HUB, Spain/NEIKER, Finland/LUKE, Sweden/UPSC-SLU) and Argentina (INTA) aim to develop multi-varietal forestry of conifers (pine, spruce, Douglas, larch) based on an innovative vegetative propagation technique, somatic embryogenesis. FCBA (BSA Department) and INRAE (UMR BioForA) have been developing this promising biotechnology in partnership since 2004 (maritime pine and Douglas in particular) and with the technical support of XYLOBIOTECH.
Coordinated by FCBA (J.-F. Trontin) and HUB (A. Rupps), this multinational ERA-NET Cofund project within the framework of the "ForestValue - Innovating forest-based bioeconomy" programme will run for 3 years (2019-2022) and has a total budget of approximately €2 million. It is supported in France by ANR as well as FNR (Germany), MINCyT (Argentina), MINECO-AEI (Spain), MMM (Finland) and VINNOVA (Sweden). ForestValue is an EU-funded programme (Horizon 2020, convention N°773324).
Multi-varietal forestry allows the production of improved varieties based on vegetative propagation. In the context of climate change and the bio-economy, it is a complementary strategy to sexual reproduction (seed multiplication) to intensify production in forest plantations. It is no longer necessary to wait for sexual maturity to produce varieties. Genetic gains per time unit are therefore higher. Furthermore, vegetative propagation offers greater flexibility for renewing the variety supply according to environmental constraints and socio-economic expectations.
It is mainly conifers that are grown in plantations. Varieties are produced exclusively in seed orchards because these species are difficult to multiply through simple cuttings. The development of somatic embryogenesis, a promising technology for the vegetative propagation of seeds, offers new prospects for multi-varietal forestry in conifers. Technically equivalent to the microcutting of the embryo within each seed, it has all the characteristics of an industrializable process for the production of seedlings.
Collaboration FCBA (BSA), (HUB, Germany),
INRAE (BioForA), INTA (Argentina), LUKE (Finland), NEIKER (Spain), UPSC/SLU (Sweden)
XYLOBIOTECH technical support:
Somatic embryogenesis (Pierroton + Orléans)
Cryopreservation (Pierroton + Orléans)
Genetic engineering (Pierroton)
Biochemical and molecular analyses (Orléans)
For more information:
Presentation of MULTIFOREVER at the ForestValue kick-off seminar in Helsinki, Finland (Pitch Talk). May 2019.
Les Cahiers de l'ANR, N°11 "Arbre, forêt, Bois et Sociétés" (p. 57), December 2019 (in French).