Special Issue "Molecular Genetics of Forest Trees and Applications in Breeding, Conservation and Management of Genetic Resources"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Genetics and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022 | Viewed by 1277

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Evi Alizoti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: forest genetics; classical–molecular and genomics-assisted tree improvement; conservation and utilization of forest genetic resources (FGR); response and adaptation of FGR to climate change; genetic monitoring

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Molecular genetics is a key scientific area providing tools and applications to study the vast genetic diversity of forest tree species and their complex life histories; dissect complex traits; apply marker-based breeding strategies aiming towards tailored selection of parents and acceleration of breeding cycles; characterize forest genetic resources, in situ conservation networks, and ex situ collections; identify genetic lineages, endangered populations, and untapped genetic resources; and study the genetics/genomics of adaptation to changing environments to mitigate the climate change effects. Cutting-edge results on the above topics are urgently needed given the overarching threat of climate change and the need to better understand the extent of genetic variation and the spatial distribution of unique genes or gene families for specific adaptations that could guide us toward better characterization, conservation, and management of forest genetic resources, while results on the genomic prediction of breeding values, and the extension at the genome-wide scale, may contribute to high accuracy in genetic prediction and reduction in breeding cycle duration in breeding programs.

This Special Issue aims to publish cutting-edge results from across the globe on the above topics and synthesize the recent knowledge obtained from applying molecular genetics on tree breeding, conservation, and management of forest genetic resources in the face of climate change.

Dr. Evi Alizoti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • molecular characterization of forest genetic resources
  • molecular signatures of adaptation
  • marker-based breeding strategies
  • molecular dissection of complex traits
  • life histories of forest trees and genetic lineages
  • unique or specific genes/alleles for better adaptation to climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
SNP Detection in Pinus pinaster Transcriptome and Association with Resistance to Pinewood Nematode
Forests 2022, 13(6), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13060946 - 17 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Pinewood nematode (PWN, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) is the causal agent of pine wilt disease (PWD), which severely affects Pinus pinaster stands in southwestern Europe. Despite the high susceptibility of P. pinaster, individuals of selected half-sib families have shown genetic variability in survival [...] Read more.
Pinewood nematode (PWN, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) is the causal agent of pine wilt disease (PWD), which severely affects Pinus pinaster stands in southwestern Europe. Despite the high susceptibility of P. pinaster, individuals of selected half-sib families have shown genetic variability in survival after PWN inoculation, indicating that breeding for resistance can be a valuable strategy to control PWD. In this work, RNA-seq data from susceptible and resistant plants inoculated with PWN were used for SNP discovery and analysis. A total of 186,506 SNPs were identified, of which 31 were highly differentiated between resistant and susceptible plants, including SNPs in genes involved in cell wall lignification, a process previously linked to PWN resistance. Fifteen of these SNPs were selected for validation through Sanger sequencing and 14 were validated. To evaluate SNP-phenotype associations, 40 half-sib plants were genotyped for six validated SNPs. Associations with phenotype after PWN inoculation were found for two SNPs in two different genes (MEE12 and PCMP-E91), as well as two haplotypes of HIPP41, although significance was not maintained following Bonferroni correction. SNPs here detected may be useful for the development of molecular markers for PWD resistance and should be further investigated in future association studies. Full article
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Article
Revealing the Genetic Structure and Differentiation in Endangered Pinus bungeana by Genome-Wide SNP Markers
Forests 2022, 13(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020326 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 498
Abstract
Understanding the genetic variation and differentiation of natural populations is essential for their protection, specifically if the species status is endangered as with Pinus bungeana. Here, we used 346,840 high density and strong specificity SNP loci to carry out genetic analyses (i.e., [...] Read more.
Understanding the genetic variation and differentiation of natural populations is essential for their protection, specifically if the species status is endangered as with Pinus bungeana. Here, we used 346,840 high density and strong specificity SNP loci to carry out genetic analyses (i.e., genetic diversity, genetic structure, phylogeny, and geographical differentiation) on 52 P. bungeana individuals from 5 populations (4 natural and one artificial) representing the main regions of the species distribution in China. Genetic diversity assessment indicated a trend of genetic diversity gradual decrease from west to east across the species distribution areas. Population genetic structure, PCA and phylogenetic analyses consistently indicated that populations in the central and eastern regions were clustered together, while those from the western regions were separated. Mantel test values indicated the presence of geographic isolation among populations, an important factor contributing to the observed genetic differentiation. The maximum likelihood tree and potential migration events inferred from TreeMix analysis indicated the presence of historical genetic exchanges between the west of Qinling Mountains and the Lvliang Mountains populations. Based on the generated genetic information, in situ and ex situ conservation strategies for P.bungeana germplasm resources are proposed, these strategies could be valuable for the conservation, protection and genetic improvement of this endangered species. Full article
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