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Cell differentiation

The two photos above show the in vitro transformation of eucalyptus “stem cells” (on the left) into tracheids, cells that control the wood forming process (on the right). Pedro Barrueto, a researcher at the Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture (Esalq/USP), was able to bring about the differentiation by treating the material with a hormone. This is the first time the process has been conducted in a laboratory using eucalyptus. The research is interesting as it is related to the genes involved in the synthesis of lignin, an important polymer for plants and for the pulp and paper industry.

Photo sent by Pedro Barrueto Cid, Max Feffer Laboratory of Plant Breeding Esalq/USP, coordinated by Carlos Labate