DOI: 10.1101/481614Nov 29, 2018Paper

Assessing the potential for assisted gene flow using past introduction of Norway spruce in Southern Sweden: Local adaptation and genetic basis of quantitative traits in trees.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pascal MilesiMartin Lascoux


Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a dominant conifer species of major economic importance in Northern Europe. Extensive breeding programs were established to improve phenotypic traits of interest. In southern Sweden seeds used to create progeny tests were collected on about 3000 trees of outstanding phenotype (plus trees) across the region. Some were of local origin but many were recent introductions from the rest of the natural range. The mixed origin of the trees together with partial sequencing of the exome of >1,500 of these trees and phenotypic data retrieved from the Swedish breeding program offered us a unique opportunity to dissect the genetic basis of local adaptation of three quantitative traits (height, diameter and budburst). Through a combination of multivariate analyses and genome-wide association studies, we showed that there was a very strong effect of geographical origin on growth (height and diameter) and phenology (budburst) with trees from southern origins outperforming local provenances. Association studies also indicated that growth traits were highly polygenic and budburst somewhat less. Hence, our results suggest that assisted gene flow and genomic selection approaches could help alleviating the effect of c...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Trees (plant)
Picea excelsa
Gene Flow

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