Researchers at UPSC are part of a research program on artificial photosynthesis that was recently granted by 'Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelser' with more than 40Mkr for 5 years. The idea is to try to understand exactly how plants absorb and use light energy and with this knowledge as a template create an artificial system that can harvest light and produce energy in a useful form for mankind, for example hydrogen, or other high energy compounds.

On Oct 1 2011, 41 Swedish scientists holding grants from Vetenskapsrådet published a debate article in Dagens Nyheter, ( The text can also be downloaded here, an English version here. 

Vetenskapsrådet supports basic science in all areas with granting decisions based solely on scientific excellence. 45 scientists (working within molecular biology, biochemistry biophysics, ecology, mathematic modeling etc.) hold for 2011 grants from Vetenskapsrådet for projects with main focus on plants and out of those, 41 signed. This means that 90 % of the leading plant scientists in Sweden claim that the basis of the EU legislation in this field – that the technique, not the properties of the plant determines whether or not a variety will be put under strict control or not - lacks support by scientific evidence and is instead based on quasi-scientific arguments. Therefore, the legislation must be changed to allow for findings in publicly funded basic plant research to be applied as environmentally friendly agriculture and forestry.
Professor Gunnar Öquist at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University and Umeå Plant Science Centre, is awarded the Höpken medal in gold 2011, for his "extraordinary contributions as Permanent Secretary at the Academy of Sciences during the period 2003-2010", by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Read more (in Swedish)
Plant scientist Markus Grebe is one of Europe’s most prominent young researchers. The European Research Council has awarded them with a total sum of 1,36 million Euro in research grants. On Wednesday they will be acknowledged at a reception held by the Swedish Research Council in Stockholm.

Press release English
Press release Swedish
UPSC researchers, headed by Professor Ove Nilsson, in collaboration with plant biotech company Syngenta, reports in the latest issue of Science, on an antagonistic pair of FT homologs that mediates the control of flowering time in sugar beet.

Press release (in Swedish)
News at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
News at Umeå University
Publication in Science
Professor Gunnar Öquist at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University and Umeå Plant Science Centre, was awarded Honorary Doctorate at the University of Copenhagen, on November 18th.

News at Umeå University
ASPB, the American Society of Plant Biologists, have analyzed citations to their journals, Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell, for papers published between 2004 and 2008 to identify authors from around the world publishing the most influential papers.
ASPB recognizes these scientists as authors, whose scientific experience and academic leadership have helped establish their journals, Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell, as highly respected sources of knowledge for the advancement of plant science.

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The spruce genome project has taken off. A spruce individual från Jämtland has been selected and after only one week of sequencing, more sequence data has been generated than during the whole human genome project, that took ten years.

News at Umeå University (in Swedish)
News at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (in Swedish)

playRead more at the project site
Maria Eriksson has been awarded a 3-year-grant to strengthen her research career by carrying out strategic research at Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University and UPSC, Umeå University. The aim of this initiative is to create the best possible conditions for gifted female researchers to be able to fortify their careers.


Maria E. Eriksson - Circadian Clock Function and its Importance for the Regulation of Growth
In one of the latest issues of Science there is a News of the Week article about the new Science for Life Lab (SciLifeLab) in Stockholm. The whole article is full with information about the ground breaking DNA sequencing of the Spruce genome, a collaboration between UPSC and SciLifeLab. Science quotes Pär Ingvarsson of UPSC saying that “It´s one of the largest, most complicated genomes to be sequenced. We want to identify genes that control wood properties”.

Read more in Science vol 328; 14 May