Novel tree breeding strategies
Start date: May 1, 2008,
End date: Oct 31, 2012
"The challenges facing forest geneticists and tree breeders include recognition of changing demands on forests for a wider range of high value forest products and sustainability of forest ecosystems under climate change. NOVELTREE is designed to enable significant genetic improvement of tree characteristics and forest products properties to satisfy the needs (quality, quantity, sustainability, vulnerability) of the forest-based sector and consumers. NOVELTREE will: i) Provide a list of morphological and physiological traits relevant as selection criteria for pest tolerance, sustainable biomass production, wood properties for present and future use and plastic response to climate change ii) Identify functional allelic polymorphisms for a suite of traits of interest in a post-genomics approach to improve selection efficiency and monitor genetic variation along the selection process iii) Develop high throughput phenotyping and genotyping tools. These new tools will allow earlier genetic evaluation, higher selection intensity, increased accuracy in genetic prediction and better monitoring of genetic diversity along generations iv) Develop novel/improved breeding strategies and demonstrate their efficiency in case studies. Demonstration will focus on model tree species of high economic importance in different European regions: Maritime Pine, Scots Pine, Spruce, and Poplar v) Assess the financial and environmental impacts of genetically improved trees at stand and landscape levels thanks to a multidisciplinary approach and simulation tools vi) Provide tree breeders and forest owners with support decision tools for optimal deployment of improved genetic stocks in both prevailing and future climate, and under risk of pest and disease attacks vii) Provide training in emerging technologies in connection with on-going European projects, disseminate the results to different publics and transfer technology to the forest-based sector"
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