ProCoGen will contribute towards the expected impact of the call by developing an integrative research programme on conifer species combining the use of the most appropriate high-throughput (HT) technologies with advanced bioinformatics to generate new knowledge to improve forest productivity through targeted breeding programs based on better adapted material to regional climatic threats, forest stewardship in response to environmental change as well as conservation efforts. This project will build upon previous networking efforts of European initiatives on forest ecosystems and aims at integrating presently fragmented activities of European research groups. This integrative project will greatly contribute to strongly reinforce the forefront position of the European research on conifer genomics and bioinformatics.
The information generated in the framework of this project will contribute to:
a) deciphering the genome structure of several model conifer species
b) identification of molecular bases underlying their plasticity and adaptation
c) comparison of gene and gene networks governing the response of conifers to climate change
d) infering information that can be transferred to other conifer species of high importance in European forest economy
e) identification and quantification of associations between genotypic and phenotypic variants, in order to design pre-breeding and selection tools to enable genome-assisted breeding and resource management
ProCoGen has established programmes to ensure active and efficient training and dissemination at different levels:
a) within the consortium - to achieve scientific excellence during the project and ensure an outstanding formation of researchers
b) beyond the consortium- for transfering knowledge and outcome to non participating countries to avoid a "genomics gap"
c) the scientific community- through publications in scientific journals and communication in scientific meetings
d) participation of European and North American researchers in the project workshops to ensure that relevant contribution of genomics in genome-assisted breeding and forestry sustainable management will be made available not only to European policy makers and stakeholders but to the international community at large.
e) public at large through modern media