FastTRAC II: Fast Tests for Rating and Amelioration of Conifers 2

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Generating solutions

Status

Active

Competition

Genomic Applications Partnership Program

Genome Centre(s)

GE3LS

No

Project Leader(s)

Jean Bousquet

Fiscal Year Project Launched

2022-2023

Project Description

Climate change represents a critical challenge for the Canadian forestry sector. The selection and production of improved varieties using conventional tree breeding take up to 30 years for Canadian conifers, and cannot keep pace with the rate of climate change. Red spruce and black spruce are among the most planted conifer species in eastern Canada (with about 100 million trees planted annually), and there is an urgent need for technologies capable of selecting and producing more rapidly new planting stocks that will be more resilient to climate change and that can capture more CO2.

Recent success from the FastTRAC GAPP project aiming at white spruce and Norway spruce showed that genomic selection (GS), a tool that predicts the genetic worth of candidate trees for any trait of interest using their genomic profiles, reduces the timeline for selection by up to 20 years. This project will implement GS to accelerate the selection and enhance advanced-generation red spruce and black spruce planting stocks. The focus will be on growth productivity and wood quality traits, as well as adaptation to climate through, among others, genomic monitoring of the effects of introgression (transfer of genetic material from one species into the gene pool of another) between these two naturally hybridizing species.

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