Contact Jennifer Boon, Communications Manager, Sectors
Spruce trees are Canada’s most significant forest resource because they grow in almost every region across the country and are the largest species by the number. Spruce trees also produce high quality wood and fibre that is widely used in the industry. With roughly 400 million seedlings planted per year, spruce are the most reforested trees in Canada. Climate change and unpredictable forest product markets require innovative new tools and technologies for tree breeding programs to deliver reliable spruce stock for future seed and seedling production.
A $10.5-million research project, Spruce-Up: Advanced spruce genomics for productive and resilient forests (Spruce-Up) is estimated to more than double the net economic output value of spruce forests, increasing the value of new trees and reducing losses due to environmental disturbances. This investment, made in part by Genome BC, is being led by Dr. Joerg Bohlmann at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Dr. Jean Bousquet from l’Université Laval. The team will accelerate the development and deployment of genomics-improved spruce seedlings that could be more resistant to insects and drought, has enhanced nutrient use efficiency and results in improved wood quality and productivity.
The Asian longhorned beetle, also known as the starry sky beetle, is native to eastern Asia but has successfully invaded North America and Europe where it infests maple, birch, willow, elm, and poplar trees. An international team of scientists report on the sequencing, annotation, and comparative exploration of this beetle’s genome in an effort to develop novel tools to combat its spread and better understand the biology of invasive wood-boring pests.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is participating in a three-year, $3-million grant by the National Science Foundation to develop a user-friendly interface that will help forest scientists everywhere record and share their genomic data for various tree species.