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sector_ico_Forestry_trans Forestry

Conifer Forest Health Genomics

  • Project Leaders: Joerg Bohlmann, Kermit Ritland
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $20009952
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Competitions
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Status: Closed

Spruce is the dominant conifer species in Canada and is the most important tree of the Canadian forest industry. This project aimed to identify the genetic traits of spruce trees that may improve their resistance to pests like the spruce weevil as well as increase their ability to adapt to changing climate. This project developed massive resources such as new conifer genomics, proteomics and metabolomics research platforms, large-scale data resources, and genetic markers for spruce species application.

The knowledge gained was transferable to other critical conifer species including pines, true firs, douglas fir, and western red cedar. This project built on the successful large-scale Canadian forestry genomics program called Treenomix  and it further provided essential platform for Canada’s spruce genome sequencing project (SMarTForest) and other conifer genome projects funded in Canada, the USA, Sweden and Spain.

This project developed new industry partner (J.D. Irving Ltd), produced more than 60 publications and 8 book chapters, as well as a number of policy related documents by its GE3LS and economic benefits components. This project was also very successful on training highly qualified professionals with seven tenure track faculties (two as Canada Research Chair) in Canada, France, Germany, the USA and Japan, and a senior economist in Ottawa.