Genetics of climatic adaptation in trees
Plants needs to be well adapted to local conditions as the timing of the onset and release of dormancy is a trade-off between increased growth potential and the risk of frost damage. We know a great deal about the physiology and quantitative genetics of phenology in trees, but the genes that underlie these traits are largely unknown.
Our goal is to: Elucidate the pathways that react on photoperiod and temperature and control growth rhythm in conifers. Identify the genes in those pathways that control the adaptation of Norway spruce trees to their local environment. Establish the degree of conservation of such pathways in angiosperms and gymnosperms.
To answer these questions, we combine functional studies of candidate genes in Picea abies and the model species Arabidopsis thaliana with association mapping and population genetic analysis of the same genes in P. abies .