Spruce trees are Canada’s most significant forest resource because they grow in almost every region across the country and are the largest species by the number. Spruce trees also produce high quality wood and fibre that is widely used in the industry. With roughly 400 million seedlings planted per year, spruce are the most reforested trees in Canada. Climate change and unpredictable forest product markets require innovative new tools and technologies for tree breeding programs to deliver reliable spruce stock for future seed and seedling production.
A $10.5-million research project, Spruce-Up: Advanced spruce genomics for productive and resilient forests (Spruce-Up) is estimated to more than double the net economic output value of spruce forests, increasing the value of new trees and reducing losses due to environmental disturbances.
This investment, made in part by Genome BC, is being led by Dr. Joerg Bohlmann at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Dr. Jean Bousquet from l’Université Laval. The team will accelerate the development and deployment of genomics-improved spruce seedlings that could be more resistant to insects and drought, has enhanced nutrient use efficiency and results in improved wood quality and productivity.
“Spruce-Up capitalizes on our long-standing successful collaborations with industry and government,” says Dr. Joerg Bohlmann, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar, Michael Smith Laboratories, UBC. “We are building on over a decade of ground breaking forest genomics research enabled by Genome Canada, Genome BC and other partners.”
Learn more on the Genome BC website.