Fast Track Diagnosis of Stress, Disease, Phenology and Growth – Drone-Based High-Throughput Field Phenotyping for Genome Assisted Tree Breeding and Selection (FastPheno)
The field of forest genomics has seen unprecedented advances during the past decade. A suite of genomic resources is now available for enhanced genomic selection and can be used to accelerate breeding cycles and to select genotypes that are better adapted and more resilient to future climate change and diseases. The large-scale phenotyping needed to assess adaptive traits in breeding populations with thousands of trees is now the major bottleneck hindering the rapid identification of the traits that enable trees to cope with climate change. This project will develop a drone-based precision phenotyping tool for assessing conventional and novel adaptive traits to complement the genomic selection research and operational programs of Natural Resources Canada and Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec. The economic impact of climate change is expected to be significant for Canada’s forest sector. The proposed technology will help the Canadian forest sector take advantage of genomic selection tools that may mitigate the impacts of climate change.