A-03 Forest genetics and genomics: the opportunities and challenges of climate change mitigation






Heidi Dungey

New Zealand



Simeon Smaill

New Zealand



Jianming Xue

New Zealand




Time slot:

2 hours



Oral presentations


Session description:

Climate change is one of the most important global issues, one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development goals. Global climate change will expose forest trees to new challenges and will alter the short- and long-term selection pressures on trees. Drought and the incidence and intensity of pest and disease outbreaks are predicted to increase. These factors have the potential to radically alter our ecosystems as well as our global supply chains of fibre and wood from planted forests. In order for the UN goals to be achieved, science responses are also needed, including genetics, genomics and understanding the fundamental science of how trees grow and respond to biotic and abiotic risks. We propose a session that presents the tools that are available for risk management. New technologies are key to providing solutions that can be implemented rapidly and China is leading the world in many of these areas. From China, the latest genome sequencing, genotyping technologies available and how these can be implemented will be presented, with experience in model plants, conifers vs angiosperms. Challenges of adapting the technologies will be addressed for tree species with long genomes, high copy numbers and polyploidy. Breeding programmes have traditionally selected genotypes that were stable across environments. Climate change is likely to push this selection into new climate paradigms where selections no longer remain resilient, and outside the previous limits of tree breeding. Dr Simeon Smaill and Dr Heidi Dungey will present on breeding strategy responses that might be taken to mitigate this. Dr Jianming Xue will also present a hot-off-the press analysis of clonal and genomic differences in C13, breeding strategy responses and pro-active responses that can be undertaken to mitigate the effects that climate change will have on the economy and on the population. We will include and invited speaker (we hope to invite Harry Wu) from the planted forest experience in Europe, from the Ume? Plant Science Centre (UPSC). The challenges of managing a complex breeding population of a native tree species and their plans to include genomics.