United States Department of Agriculture
Genes -- the DNA codes present in all living organisms -- are the basis of adaptive traits that make species resilient to a changing climate and an array of diseases. The genes of plants are poorly understood, and this is especially true for genes that help plants adapt to changes in seasonal and annual weather. This research applies new genomics methods to address a fundamental question: What genes do plants use to sense seasonal changes in light quality, temperature, and water availability? By defining genes that have a large impact on growth and health, we can use this information to guide breeding methods and plant selections that result in broadly adapted trees that contribute to resilient forest communities.The same genomics approaches used for identifying adaptive genomic variation can also be used to identify the species and geographic source of plant products, such as wood and wood products. We are using these approaches to define taxonomically- and spatially-informative genetic markers that can be used to track and manage products from economically and ecologically important forest trees.
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Climate ChangeEcology, Ecosystems, & EnvironmentEnvironment and PeopleFireForest & Plant HealthForest ProductsInventory, Monitoring, & AnalysisResource Management & UseWildlife (or Fauna)