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1.  The genetics of water-use efficiency and its relation to growth in maritime pine 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2014;65(17):4757-4768.
To meet the increasing demand of wood biomass worldwide in the context of climate change, developing improved forest tree varieties for high productivity in water-limited conditions is becoming a major issue. This involves breeding for genotypes combining high growth and moderate water loss and thus high water-use efficiency (WUE). The present work provides original data about the genetics of intrinsic WUE (the ratio between net CO2 assimilation rate and stomatal conductance, also estimated by carbon isotope composition of plant material; δ13C) and its relation to growth in Pinus pinaster Ait. First, heritability for δ13C was estimated (0.29) using a 15-year-old progeny trial (Landes provenance), with no significant differences among three sites contrasting in water availability. High intersite correlations (0.63–0.91) and significant but low genotype–environment interactions were detected. Secondly, the genetic architectures of δ13C and growth were studied in a three-generation inbred pedigree, introducing the genetic background of a more-drought-adapted parent (Corsican provenance), at ages of 2 years (greenhouse) and 9 years (plantation). One of the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) identified in the field experiment, explaining 67% of the phenotypic variance, was also found among the QTLs detected in the greenhouse experiment, where it colocalized with QTLs for intrinsic WUE and stomatal conductance. This work was able to show that higher WUE was not genetically linked to less growth, allowing thus genetic improvement of water use. As far as is known, the heritability and QTL effects estimated here are based on the highest number of genotypes measured to date.
PMCID: PMC4144764  PMID: 24987014
Breeding; carbon isotope composition; genotype×environment interaction; genetic variability; growth; heritability; maritime pine; QTL; water-use efficiency.
2.  Bioinformatic analysis of ESTs collected by Sanger and pyrosequencing methods for a keystone forest tree species: oak 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:650.
The Fagaceae family comprises about 1,000 woody species worldwide. About half belong to the Quercus family. These oaks are often a source of raw material for biomass wood and fiber. Pedunculate and sessile oaks, are among the most important deciduous forest tree species in Europe. Despite their ecological and economical importance, very few genomic resources have yet been generated for these species. Here, we describe the development of an EST catalogue that will support ecosystem genomics studies, where geneticists, ecophysiologists, molecular biologists and ecologists join their efforts for understanding, monitoring and predicting functional genetic diversity.
We generated 145,827 sequence reads from 20 cDNA libraries using the Sanger method. Unexploitable chromatograms and quality checking lead us to eliminate 19,941 sequences. Finally a total of 125,925 ESTs were retained from 111,361 cDNA clones. Pyrosequencing was also conducted for 14 libraries, generating 1,948,579 reads, from which 370,566 sequences (19.0%) were eliminated, resulting in 1,578,192 sequences. Following clustering and assembly using TGICL pipeline, 1,704,117 EST sequences collapsed into 69,154 tentative contigs and 153,517 singletons, providing 222,671 non-redundant sequences (including alternative transcripts). We also assembled the sequences using MIRA and PartiGene software and compared the three unigene sets. Gene ontology annotation was then assigned to 29,303 unigene elements. Blast search against the SWISS-PROT database revealed putative homologs for 32,810 (14.7%) unigene elements, but more extensive search with Pfam, Refseq_protein, Refseq_RNA and eight gene indices revealed homology for 67.4% of them. The EST catalogue was examined for putative homologs of candidate genes involved in bud phenology, cuticle formation, phenylpropanoids biosynthesis and cell wall formation. Our results suggest a good coverage of genes involved in these traits. Comparative orthologous sequences (COS) with other plant gene models were identified and allow to unravel the oak paleo-history. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were searched, resulting in 52,834 SSRs and 36,411 SNPs. All of these are available through the Oak Contig Browser
This genomic resource provides a unique tool to discover genes of interest, study the oak transcriptome, and develop new markers to investigate functional diversity in natural populations.
PMCID: PMC3017864  PMID: 21092232

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