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Wood Development Group
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Wood Development Group Institute of Biotecnology Viikinkaari 1 (P.O.Box 65)
00014 University of Helsinki
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Tel: +358-9-1911
fax +358-9-1915 9366

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Yrjö Helariutta
+358-9-191 59422

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Genetic control of wood development

We are investigating the molecular basis of wood development and its diversity. Wood (also called as secondary xylem) is derived from an actively dividing cylindrical lateral meristem, vascular cambium. Periclinal cell divisions produce secondary phloem (transports carbohydrates from mature leaves to areas of growth and storage) outwardly, and secondary xylem (conducts water and minerals from roots to the aerial parts of the plant) inwardly. The cambial activity is seasonally variable in trees growing at the temperate-zone, which results in the appearance of annual rings. Our topic is an example of a plant developmental problem. Plants have probably evolved a multicellular, terrestrial life style independently from animals. Therefore, it is interesting to investigate the molecular basis of this unique developmental strategy.


We currently have open positions for a PhD student and a post-doctoral fellow.


Arabidopsis plant Cross section showing woody tissue Birch tree


We are an EURYI research group.
We have been an EMBO member group since 2008.
We are part of the Research Program in Genome Biology.
1999 - 2011: Member of Plant Molecular Biology Center of Excellence
2001 - 2011: Member of the Biocentrum Helsinki Center of Excellence