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BEECHgenomes | Genomic variation in common beech: analysis of the adaptation and adaptability of a forest species of great ecological and economic importance threatened by climate change

Dr. Isabelle Lesure, Dr. Katrin Heer, Prof. Lars Opgenoorth

Foto: Lars Opgenoorth

Common beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is an important keystone forest species, representing more than 15% of Europe’s forests and of great commercial importance. It is the subject of many high quality research programs in ecology, forest science, genetics and ecophysiology. Despite this, there is a glaring lack of genomic resources and knowledge on the genomic basis of adaptation in this species. The BEECHGENOMES project (2017-2020), funded as part of the France genomics call for projects, and led by INRA-URFM (Ivan Scotti), has three objectives: (1) to establish a reference genomic sequence for the common beech; (2) obtain high-density polymorphism data by a sequencing genotyping approach from a large sample (> 2000 trees) obtained across Europe; (3) identify patterns of local multi-scale adaptation, from the stand to the distribution area, including the massif and the region. The BEECHgenomes project has close ties with the ongoing H2020 program GenTree, e.g. Isabelle Lesure of my team is working as a PostDoc in GenTree and BEECHgenome analysing the beech genomic data of both projects.