SoilSoc Courses

ME363 Basic Biotechnology in Forestry


Time: September / October, organised annually

Place: Helsinki, Finland

Level: BSc / MSc course

Organiser: Department of Forest Ecology, HU-AF  

Language: English

Description: Lecture course. Biotechnology and its allied areas of bioresource science and genomics is a rapidly developing field of study with considerable benefits not just for agricultural, environmental and medical sciences but also in forestry. The course however will primarily cover much of the applied aspects of biotechnology relevant to forestry. Traditionally, humans have for centuries exploited forest organisms (trees & microbes) for their own benefits particularly in timber and fiber production, as a source of nutrition and also natural biocides. With the advent of biotechnology, there is an increasing demand for the use of biomass from forest trees as a renewable energy source as well as carbon sink to control global warming. Additionally, the root systems of certain tree species are also adaptable for use in phytoremediation of polluted soils or habitats. Equally, some microbes associated to forest trees are of potential biotechnological significance in the area of bioremediation of polluted ecosystems, industrial chemical processing and production (bioethanol), pharmaceuticals (antibiotics) and in biological control of pests. Biotechnology further offers opportunities through the use of genetics to expand or improve on many of these positive attributes of forest trees and associated organisms. The course will also address principles and ethical issues on genetical modified organisms (trees).