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Last update: May 2021

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Research Themes

Improvement of knowledge on the development of the tree phenotype

This first theme has two associated objectives :

- to identify the molecular and genetic determinants of complex traits important for biomass production. A similar approach is being developed in order to remove the obstacles blocking the optimization of somatic embryogenesis in maritime pine ;

- to study the variations of the phenotype in a changing environment in order to highlight at the individual level the phenotypic plasticity and at the population level the possibilities of evolution of allelic frequencies in response to variations in the environment.

Valorization of forest genetic resources

Benefiting from the knowledge acquired in the first research theme, this theme aims to optimize the ways in which forest genetic resources can be put to good use by maintaining the competitiveness of production systems while sustainably managing forest ecosystems. It involves :

  • set up and monitor networks for the conservation of natural genetic resources, taking into account the effect of climate change and management methods on the dynamics of genetic diversity ;
  • manage genetic diversity in a reasoned way within breeding programs. For this, the following are explored:

- the potential of heterosis in interspecific hybridization ;

- the relative importance of the effects of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in the evolutionary potential of related traits ;

- opportunities to streamline assessment, selection and recombination to meet the needs of short-term improvement programs ;

- the potentialities of genomic selection studied on the poplar model.

  • disseminate genetic progress and deploy it in a reasoned manner in the forest landscape. Three aspects are studied :

- optimisation of the technique of somatic embryogenesis as a tool for disseminating genetic progress ;

- the deployment of improved forest varieties to ensure an interesting level of production and a satisfactory state of health with a view to major climate changes ;

- quantification of gene flows from the cultivated compartment to natural populations and their potential impacts on genetic diversity.