Accelerate breeding for tree resilience and wood quality in spruce in view of global changes


Funding period: 2020-2024
Lead: Patrick Lenz
Total GRDI funding: $612,750

The main objectives of the project relate to: i) the identification of climatic constraints that influence growth in conifers such as spruces; ii) the identification of new traits and new phenotypes to assess tree resilience and characterize spruce breeding populations; iii) the development of genomic breeding tools for resistance/recovery to abiotic stress (drought, frost).


  • Beaulieu J, Nadeau S, Ding C, Celedon J, Azaiez A, Ritland C, Laverdière J, Deslauriers M, Adams G, Fullarton M, Bohlmann J, Lenz PRN, Bousquet J. 2020. Genomic selection for resistance to spruce budworm in white spruce and relationships with growth and wood quality traits. Evolutionary Applications. 13(10): 2704-2722.
  • D’Odorico P, Besik A, Wong CYS, Isabel N, Ensminger I. 2020. High-throughput drone based remote sensing reliably tracks photosynthesis seasonality in thousands of conifer seedlings. New Phytologist, 226: 1667-1681.
  • Depardieu C, Gérardi S, Nadeau S, Parent G, MacKay J, Lenz P, Lamothe M, Girardin MP, Bousquet J, Isabel N. 2021. Connecting tree-ring phenotypes, association genomics, and transcriptomics to uncover drought tolerance in a widespread conifer. Molecular Ecology. 30(16):3898-3917.
  • Girardin MP, Isabel N, Guo XJ, Lamothe M, Duchesne I, Lenz PRN. 2021. Annual aboveground carbon uptake enhancements from assisted gene flow in boreal black spruce forests are not long-lasting. Nature Communications, 12: 1169.

Contact us

For additional information, please contact:
Genomics R&D Initiative