Shared platform in forest biotechnology

Shared platform in forest biotechnology
DateProject completed
In partnership with INRAE, FCBA has developed a platform specialising in forest biotechnology within the framework of the XYLOFOREST Excellence Facility (Investissement d'Avenir, ANR). This shared platform is based on a partnership between the two institutes since 2004. In 2018, XYLOBIOTECH joined the national infrastructure grouping together the facilities of forest management institutions (IN-SYLVA France).

With its experts and state-of-the-art equipment, the platform meets the needs of academic and private players in the field of conservation, production and characterisation of forest trees.

A platform for sustainable forest management

XYLOBIOTECH is a platform that brings together teams specialised in forest biotechnologies from FCBA (BSA “Biotechnology and Advanced Forestry”, Pierroton) and INRAE (UMR BioForA, “Integrated Biology for the Development of Tree and Forest Diversity”, Orléans).

The platform, coordinated by FCBA, is dedicated to the development of modern technologies to ensure the production, conservation and characterisation of forest genetic resources for researchers, breeders, nurserymen and, more broadly, those involved in sustainable forest management.

State-of-the-art equipment for R&D and variety production

XYLOBIOTECH provides its experts (fifteen researchers, engineers and technicians) and the equipment necessary for biotechnological innovation, including 9 XYLOFOREST Excellence Facilities. The platform has laboratories specialising in :

Cytologie INRAE
  • culture in vitro (vegetative propagation of trees by micropropagation),
  • cryoconservation (very low temperature freezing techniques),
  • genetic engineering (genome modification and editing tools),
  • molecular typing (identity, geographical origin, genetic diversity),
  • microphenotyping (histocytology, confocal and fluorescence microscopy).

It is also equipped with automated greenhouses for the breeding of plants for R&D (up to containment level S2) or varietal production.

A reference for forest biotechnology

During the operational phase of XYLOFOREST (2014-2019), more than 60 institutions have been supported by the platform through partnerships, services and training. These are both public institutions and private organisations and companies. Most of them are national actors (64%) but the international scope is important (36%). Many of the private users are located in the region (83%), in particular the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, underlining the strong socio-economic impact of the platform at local level. At the end of XYLOFOREST, XYLOBIOTECH became an FCBA/INRAE platform referenced by national (IN-SYLVA France) and European (ERIFORE) infrastructures.

Scientific support and technology transfer to the forestry and wood industry

Since 2014, XYLOBIOTECH has contributed to the completion of 9 theses and the publication of 18 scientific articles. The platform promotes the results of research, for example through the exploitation of an INRAE patent (traceability of oak wood), the production of FCBA commercial varieties of eucalyptus, or the transfer of FCBA technologies (micropropagation) to SMEs.