Scientists have created a new systems biology model that mimics wood formation. This model allows for the prediction of the effects that switching on and off 21 pathway genes that are involved with producing lignin which is a primary component of wood. The model is built on more than thirty years of research from Vincent Chain of the Forest Biotechnology Group at the North Carolina State University. It has the potential to speed up the process of engineering and customizing trees for specific uses, like timber, biofuel, pulp, paper and more.
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