Scientists Decode Genome Sequence of White Spruce and Norway Spruce

Scientists Decode Genome Sequence of White Spruce and Norway Spruce

The Canadian and Swedish scientists have decoded genome sequences of two of the world's most economically important forest trees. The two studies looked at the white spruce and Norway spruce genomes.

The first published whole-genome draft sequence of a gymnosperm, the Norway spruce, has provided a strong platform to study the unique development, adaptation and evolution of this major group of plants.

The development is likely to help reduce the time required to grow the trees and help them resists pest infestation.

The two studies will help develop innovative tools for tree breeding. Moreover, they will be effective in addressing economic and ecological important targets like insect resistance, wood quality, growth rates and adaptations to changing climate, said University of B. C. Prof. Joerg Bohlmann, a co-author of the two studies.

Bohlmann said that the White spruce is very common in Canada and the Norway spruce is very common in Europe. They hold a huge economical importance.

He added, "It aids us in developing new technologies in tree breeding. This doesn't solve everything in the short term, but it provides an important set of new information that can help tree breeders doing their job".

Scientists in B. C. and Quebec have already begun to use the genetic code of those trees to accelerate their programs said Prof. Steven Jones, senior author of the white spruce genome study.

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