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5/12/11 - World conference in June focuses on tree research

A major international venue for presenting and discussing new research developments in tree genetics and biotechnology will be held June 13-16 in Biloxi.

The 2011 Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference is being organized by Mississippi State University's forestry department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.

Established in 1951, the conference includes a diverse group of scientists from around the world who study the many different species and work to enhance and improve the value of forest trees for a sustainable economy.

As the U.S. works to develop biofuels for the future, tree genetics and biotechnology are becoming even more important. With a thorough understanding of tree genes and their use in breeding and biotechnology, world scientists can help develop new varieties that are more stress tolerant and produce greater biomass for conversion to renewable energy.

Two plenary sessions on the 14th are open to interested members of the general public. Speakers will address opportunities and challenges for forest trees in emerging biofuels industry and improving forest trees for a sustainable economy. A registration fee will be charged, however.

If registered prior to Thursday [May 12], public participants for the session may be admitted for $145. For additional details, visit www.sftic.msstate.edu.

In addition to MSU and the Forest Service, other conference sponsors include the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, MSU's Forest and Wildlife Research Center and several forestry companies.

ALLISON MATTHEWS | University Relations

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