Improving drought response through genomic selection

The Chair’s researchers have just published an article on the potential for improving the response to drought in white spruce, thanks to genomic selection. Based on the dendrochronological profiles of trees established on two experimental sites over the past twenty years, they were able to assess the genetic variability in the responses to two distinct droughts suffered by the trees obtained from controlled crosses. In particular, they discovered that the trees that responded best to water stress were those that displayed the best vigor throughout their life. The genomic selection models were as accurate as those developed using conventional approaches, making it possible to accelerate the selection of more resilient trees in the context of climate change, and in particular in relation to the intensification of stress due to droughts. Link to the complete publication here.