Elena Corredoira joined the Forest Biotechnology Research Group at the Galician Institute of Agrobiological Research (IIAG-CSIC (Spain)) in 1997, with a predoctorate grant, to undertake doctoral research under the supervision of Dr Antonio Ballester and Dr Ana Mª Vieitez. She received her PhD (cum laude) in 2002, for which she was given an extraordinary doctorate award from the University of Santiago de Compostela.
Her research activities mainly focus on the development of systems for inducing somatic embryogenesis in woody plant species to produce material for clonal propagation, regeneration in genetic transformation protocols or storage in liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation). During this time, she has participated in developing procedures for inducing somatic embryos on several economical important hardwood species such as chestnut (Castanea sativa), elm (Ulmus minor and U. glabra), alder (Alnus glutinosa), eucalypts (Eucalyptus globulus), and several oak species (Quercus robur, Quercus rubra, Quercus bicolor, Quercus ilex and Quercus alba).
Although somatic embryogenesis has previously been induced in juvenile explants (zygotic embryos) of many woody species, her research group has pioneered the development of systems for inducing somatic embryogenesis in leaves and apex explants isolated from shoots derived from adult trees and cultivated in vitro. Using vitrification techniques her group has defined successful protocols for cryopreservation of somatic embryos (alder, chestnut and several oak species), in vitro shoot apex explants of alder and zygotic embryos of chestnut. These experiments resulted in the development of an in vitro collection bank of alder, chestnut and oak species. In addition, she has collaborated in defining protocols for the genetic transformation of poplar, chestnut, cork oak, holm oak and pedunculate oak.
Elena has participated in 10 regionally and nationally funded research projects and 9 projects with businesses/public authorities. She has published 53 articles in scientific journal (33 in SCI journals), written 11 book chapters, 11 conference proceedings, 37 communications for scientific conferences, and one patent.