The “Forest tree breeding, Genetics and Physiology” research unit (UR 0588 AGPF) brings together specific skills in genetics, genomics and physiology applied on forest trees. The research conducted aims to valorize forest genetic resources in order to manage a sustainable production of timber and biomass, while taking into account the ecological impacts of domesticated species on natural forest ecosystems in the context of climate change.
In AGPF, breeding programs for three forest tree species (Poplar, Douglas fir , Scots pine, Ash tree, Wild cherry and Larch) aim to develop innovative strategies for the selection and dissemination of genetic gains. In addition, AGPF scientists assess and manage forest tree genetic diversity with an emphasis on the interactions between newly selected forest varieties and their wild population relatives in order to define the most effective strategies to manage and preserve forest tree genetic resources.
To achieve these objectives, an integrative biology approach developed on poplar, used as a model tree species, aims to improve our knowledge, both on the genetic determinism of complex traits involved in tree development (phenology, growth, wood properties), and on the mechanisms of tree adaption to environmental constraints, such as pathogen resistance and water use efficiency : this will provide us with the knowledge needed to build phenotypes that meet breeding objectives specific for each forest tree species.