Trevor Fenning, BSc, PhD

Research Scientist

Trevor Fenning

Email: trevor.fenning@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5935
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Address:
Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Roslin
Midlothian EH25 9SY
UK

Trevor Fenning joined Forest Research in 2008 from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, where he studied the eco-physiological and molecular responses of trees to pests and diseases, including through the use of tissue culture and genetic engineering.

Current role

Project Leader, tissue culture

My scientific career has spanned 30 years and has generated 46 fully refereed publications and 53 other publication and presentations, including 30 invited lectures and keynote speeches at meetings around the world, as well as other achievements.  I also have a long-standing interest in using biotechnical methods (including tissue culture) for studying tree diseases.

  • In 2016 obtained funding from the Forestry Commission Scotland for a pilot project to investigate the use of tissue culture methods for propagating oak plants (Quercus robur) from acorns.
  • In August 2013, obtained £285k of funding spread over 5 years from Defra and the Forestry Commission as part of a wider programme aimed at developing ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior L.) resistant to the ash die back disease.
  • In 2012, was awarded a travel grant by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in order to present my work to a meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), held in Brno in the Czech Republic, in June of that year.
  • In 2004-6, obtained funding for two research projects from the Germany Research Society (or DFG), while working at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, in Jena, Germany.

 

Current programmes

Developing tissue culture methods and protocols for Japanese and hybrid larch (Larix kaempferi and Larix × eurolepsis), with a view to using these methods to help develop material that is resistant to larch die-back disease (caused by Phytophthora ramorum).  This is in cooperation with Marie-Anne Lelu-Walter, Director of Research, INRA Forest Tree Genetics and Physiology research unit, France.  See: https://www6.val-de-loire.inra.fr/uragpf/Personnel/Permanents/LELU-WALTER-Marie-Anne

Developing tissue culture methods and protocols for the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) as part of the Living Ash Project, see also:  http://livingashproject.org.uk/

Affiliations and responsibilities

  • Responsible for running the FR-NRS plant tissue culture laboratory.
  • Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia.

Main recent publications and knowledge exchange activities

Peer reviewed papers

Fenning, T.M., O’Donnell, M., Connolly, T. and Park, Y.S. (2016).  Prospects for using somatic embryogenesis and cryo-preservation of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) in the UK.  Scottish Forestry 70 (2), 41-49 (Autumn 2016 issue).

Büchel, K., Fenning, T.M., Gershenzon, J., Hilker., M. and Meiners, T. (2016).  Elm defence against herbivores and pathogens: morphological, chemical and molecular regulation aspects.  Phytochemistry Reviews 15 (5), 961-983.

Hammerbacher, A., Paetz, C., Wright, L.P., Fischer, T.C., Bohlmann, J., Davis, A.J., Fenning, T.M., Gershenzon, J. and Schmidt, A. (2014).  Flavan-3-ols in Norway Spruce: Biosynthesis, Accumulation, and Function in Response to Attack by the Bark Beetle-Associated Fungus Ceratocystis polonica.  Plant Physiology 164 (4), 2107-2122. (April 2017: cited 14x)

Fenning, T.M. (2014).  Introduction.  In: Challenges and Opportunities for the World’s Forests in the 21st Century.  Ed. T.M. Fenning, Springer Verlag, Dordrecht. Ch 1, p1-19. (Jan 2017: 1,186 individual downloads, excluding private sales).

Fenning, T.M. (2014).  Challenges and Opportunities for the World’s Forests in the 21st Century.  Editor.  36 Chapters, pp838. Volume 81, Forest Sciences Series, Springer Verlag, Dordrecht.  (Jan 2017: 44,301 downloads, excluding private sales).

Büchel, K., Austel, N., Mayer, M., Gershenzon, J., Fenning, T. & Meiners, T. (2014). Smelling the tree and the forest - elm background odours affect egg parasitoid orientation to herbivore induced terpenoids.  BioControl 59 (1), 29-43. (April 2017: cited 12x)

Hammerbacher, A., Schmidt, A., Wadke, N., Wright, L.P., , Schneider, B., Bohlmann, J., Brand,W.A., Fenning, T.M., Gershenzon, J. and Paetz, C. (2013).  Fungal biotransformation of spruce stilbenes.  Plant Physiology 162 (3), 1324-1336. (April 2017: cited 35x)

Fenning, T.M. and Park, Y.S. (2013). The prospects for using somatic embryogenesis to propagate Sitka spruce in the UK.  Online proceedings of the IUFRO Somatic Embryogenesis and Other Vegetative Propagation Technologies conference, held in Brno, Czech Republic from the 25th – 28th of June 2012.  A .pdf is available from the IUFRO working party 2.09.02 web site:  http://www.iufro20902.org/

Yan, D., Fenning, T.M., Sha Tang, S., Xinli Xia, X. and Yin, W. (2012).  Genome-wide transcriptional response of Populus euphratica to long-term drought stress.  Plant Science 195, 24-35 (October issue).  (April 2017: cited 25x)

Buechel, K., McDowell, E., Nelson, W., Descour, A., Soderlund, C., Hilker, M., Gershenzon, J., Fenning, T.M., Gang, D.R. and Meiners, T. (2012).  An elm EST database for detection of leaf beetle oviposition-induced defense genes.  BMC Genomics 13 (242) - June issue. (April 2017: cited 11x)

Hammerbacher, A., Ralph, S.G., Bohlmann, J., Fenning, T.M., Gershenzon, J. and Schmidt, A. (2011).  Biosynthesis of the major tetrahydroxystilbenes in spruce, astringin and isorhapontin, proceeds via resveratrol and is enhanced by fungal infection.  Plant Physiology 157 (2), 876-890. (April 2017: cited 56x)

Buechel, K., Malskies, S., Mayer, M., Fenning, T.M., Gershenzon, J., Hilker, M. and Meiners, T. (2011).  How plants give early herbivore alert: Volatile terpenoids attract parasitoids to egg-infested elms.  Basic and Applied Ecology 12 (5), 403-412.  (April 2017: cited 21x)

Fenning, T.M. (2010).  From the lab to the land.  Chartered Forester magazine.  Winter 2010 issue.  Invited article.

Presentations

Fenning, T.M. (2016).  An Introduction to the tissue culture programmes at Forest Research.  Invited presentation to the Tree Breeding and Research Update, Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, 17th February 2016.

Fenning, T.M. (2013).  Forest biotechnology and climate change.  Invited keynote presentation to the 20th Biennial Meeting of The New Zealand Branch of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, February 25th - 28th, 2013.

Fenning, T.M. (2013).  An example of the defence mechanisms of a tree to insect pests at the molecular and genetic levels.  Invited lecture for the Forest Science Seminar series of Scion Research, Rotorua, New Zealand, 4th March 2013.

Fenning, T.M. (2012).  Forest Biotechnology and Climate Change.  Invited keynote presentation and abstract to the IUFRO working party 2.09.02 group meeting; Somatic embryogenesis and other vegetative propagation technologies, Brno, Czech Republic, June 25th – 28th, 2012.

Fenning, T.M. and Park, Y.S. (2012).  The prospects for using somatic embryogenesis to propagate Sitka spruce in the UK.  Presentation and abstract to the IUFRO working party 2.09.02 group meeting; Somatic embryogenesis and other vegetative propagation technologies, Brno, Czech Republic, June 25th – 28th, 2012.

Fenning, T.M. (2012).  Forest biotechnology and the environment.  Invited lecture to the Faculty of Forestry and Wood technology of Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic, 21st June 2012, c/o Petr Horáček, Dean of Faculty.

Fenning, T.M. (2012).  An example of the defence mechanisms of a tree to insect pests at the molecular and genetic levels.  Invited lecture to the Faculty of Forestry and Wood technology of Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic, 22nd June 2012, c/o Petr Horáček, Dean of Faculty.

Fenning, T.M. (2011).  New plant tissue culture laboratory opens.  Article in FR News (Autumn 2011 issue) about the work to upgrade the tissue culture facilities at their Northern Research Station.

Fenning, T.M. (2010).  The prospects for propagating elite material of Sitka spruce by tissue culture methods.  Presentation to the Forest Research Update seminar series, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Scotland, UK, 17th March 2010.