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Signatures of selection inscribed on poplar genomes
Date:8/24/2014

great promise to provide robust, long-term improvements to biofuel feedstocks."

Evans also noted that their study yielded nearly 18 million single base pair variants of DNA sequence (called "SNPs") in poplar. These data can be accessed at Phytozome, DOE JGI's plant comparative genomics portal. "That's a massive number of naturally occurring variants, a lot in cell wall chemistry genes and other known productivity genes. This provides an immediate resource for tree breeding programs," he said.

The team identified 397 genomic regions that contribute to adaptive traits for wild populations of poplars. For example, data gathered on height, spring bud flush and fall bud set from the clonally-replicated poplars growing in three plantations indicated that in warmer climates, trees with earlier bud flush and later bud set were favored.

Given the importance of poplar trees, not just for their role in the ecosystem, for instance, in capturing carbon, but also for their economic importance in fields ranging from timber to bioenergy, Evans noted that the ability to have plantations of poplars through vegetative propagation is a significant tree-breeding tool for picking the appropriate stocks for the task. "If you know every base in a genome, you can skip whole generations and use genomic information to predict how well an individual will do," he said. "Plantations serve as the initial tests where you can take that genomic information and calibrate those predictions. With those reference points, you can scale everything."


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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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