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TRANZFOR programme (2009-2012) - Transferring Research between EU and Australia-New Zealand on Forestry and Climate Change

Workpackages 1 - Genomics and tree breeding strategies

For the groups of species of common interest such as pines, eucalyptus, poplars, identify adaptive genes of likely significance in the changing climates and integrate into breeding programme.

Increasing and exchanging the knowledge on diversity of functional traits, and their adaptive or ecological significance, is crucial for the selection of forest tree genetic resources potentially adapted to future climates, to preserve if not increase their productivity. Research activities will include the characterization of the diversity of adaptive traits (e.g. bud phenology, disease resistance, tolerance to abiotic constraints...), as well as of related candidate genes with emphasis on comparative approaches of the same traits and genes in different forest tree species of common interest between partners. Collaborative research will combine complementary approaches such as assessing and modelling environmental response functions in contrasted situations, identifying the genetic control of traits and response functions, detecting QTL, developing association studies, and gene / protein expression profiling. The description of gene and trait diversity in trees of common interest will be used for optimising the choice of plant material for the regeneration of forests with respect to expected altered climate conditions.

Description of work

Activities will include staff exchange, joint research and networking, and will be organised in three main tasks :
  1. characterization of the diversity of adaptive traits (e.g. bud phenology, disease resistance, tolerance to abiotic constraints...), as well as of related candidate genes with emphasis on comparative approaches of the same traits and genes in different forest tree species of common interest.

  2. review and adaptation of breeding strategies, using description of gene and trait diversity in trees of common interest for optimising the choice of plant material for the regeneration of forests with respect to expected altered climate conditions.

  3. identification of tree species potentially adapted to expected climate and environmental changes over the next 100 years in Western-S outhern EU and Australasia.

Work will combine complementary approaches such as assessing and modelling environmental response functions in contrasted situations, identifying the genetic control of traits and response functions, detecting QTL, developing association studies, and gene / protein expression profiling, and comparative analysis of breeding strategies.

Researchers involved

Partner 1 (INRA)
  • A Kremer, J-C & C Bastien , C Plomion, A Raffin, L Bouffier, JM Louvet, P Gere.

Partner 2 (FR):
  • S Lee

Partner 4 (CSIRO):
  • H Wu

Partner 5 (SCION):
  • S Kumar, P Wilcox, E McRae, C Hargreaves, C Devilliard

Deliverables

  • D1.1: joint seminar at EU scientific conference on challenges of forest regeneration faced with climate change (yr 2)

  • D1.2, 1.3, 1.4: joint publications on (1) adaptive traits and related genes, (2) optimisation of breeding strategies, and (3) future tree species (yrs 2, 3, 4)