Genetic basis of growth, spring phenology, and susceptibility to biotic stressors in maritime pine

2021 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Hurel, Agathe, Marina de Miguel, Cyril Dutech, Marie‐Laure Desprez‐Loustau, Christophe Plomion, Isabel Rodríguez‐Quilón, Agathe Cyrille et al. "Genetic basis of growth, spring phenology, and susceptibility to biotic stressors in maritime pine​." ​Evolutionary Applications ​14, no. 12 (2021): ​2750​-2772​. ​

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Hurel, Agathe; de Miguel, Marina; Dutech, Cyril; Desprez‐Loustau, Marie‐Laure; Plomion, Christophe; Rodríguez‐Quilón, Isabel; Cyrille, Agathe; Guzman, Thomas; Alía, Ricardo; González‐Martínez, Santiago C.; Budde, Katharina B. 
Forest ecosystems are increasingly challenged by extreme events, for example, drought, storms, pest attacks, and fungal pathogen outbreaks, causing severe ecological and economic losses. Understanding the genetic basis of adaptive traits in tree species is of key importance to preserve forest ecosystems, as genetic variation in a trait (i.e., heritability) determines its potential for human-mediated or evolutionary change. Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), a conifer widely distributed in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, grows under contrasted environmental conditions promoting local adaptation. Genetic variation at adaptive phenotypes, including height, spring phenology, and susceptibility to two fungal pathogens (Diplodia sapinea and Armillaria ostoyae) and an insect pest (Thaumetopoea pityocampa), was assessed in a range-wide clonal common garden of maritime pine. Broad-sense heritability was significant for height (0.219), spring phenology (0.165–0.310), and pathogen susceptibility (necrosis length caused by D. sapinea, 0.152; and by A. ostoyae, 0.021, measured on inoculated, excised branches under controlled conditions), but not for pine processionary moth incidence in the common garden. The correlations of trait variation among populations revealed contrasting trends for pathogen susceptibility to D. sapinea and A. ostoyae with respect to height. Taller trees showed longer necrosis length caused by D. sapinea while shorter trees were more affected by A. ostoyae. Moreover, maritime pine populations from areas with high summer temperatures and frequent droughts were less susceptible to D. sapinea but more susceptible to A. ostoyae. Finally, an association study using 4227 genome-wide SNPs revealed several loci significantly associated with each trait (range of 3–26), including a possibly disease-induced translation initiation factor, eIF-5, associated with needle discoloration caused by D. sapinea. This study provides important insights to develop genetic conservation and breeding strategies integrating species responses to biotic stressors.
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Evolutionary Applications 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Büsgen-Institut ; Abteilung Forstgenetik und Forstpflanzenzüchtung 



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