Prof. Vladimir Filkov and US Forest Service Plant Geneticist, Dr. Andrew Groover, have been awarded a US Department of Agriculture grant for their proposal MODELING AND MANIPULATING THE REGULATION OF TENSION WOOD, AN ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT TRAIT FOR FOREST PRODUCTS, BIOFUELS AND NANOTECHNOLOGY. The goal of the 4-year, $490,000 grant is to study tension wood, formed by trees in response to gravitational stimulus. Tension wood has dramatically different biochemical properties in comparison to “normal” wood, including altered ratios of cellulose and lignin that are conducive to conversion of wood to liquid biofuels and other value added products. The research aims to characterize the roles of hormones during tension wood formation, identify genotypes with altered tension wood formation, and model the transcriptional networks underlying tension wood formation. Together these results will provide information fundamental to altering wood properties for both economic and ecological benefits.