ORAL PRESENTATION: Genome-wide genetic diversity and differentiation of 12 major European tree species elucidates conservation needs

Submitted by : Fady Bruno
Abstract type : Oral presentation
Session type : Conference session 4: EVOLUTIONARY MANAGEMENT of FORESTS
Author Speaker : Anna-Maria Farsakoglou

Information about other authors :

Authors: Anna-Maria Farsakoglou1, Ivan Scotti2, Filippos A. Aravanopoulos1 and the GenTree Consortium

1 Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, aravanop@auth.gr
2 INRA, UR629, Ecologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes (URFM), Avignon, France

Abstract :

Background/Objectives: The prospect of genetic diversity loss under a changing climate calls for improved conservation strategies. Recent technological advances enabled us to estimate with a high analytical power, genetic diversity and differentiation parameters at the genome-wide level and answer crucial biological questions related to conservation and to the fate of populations under strong environmental change. Herein, we present key genetic diversity and genetic differentiation parameters for 12 ecologically significant and commercially important European tree species, as the baseline of a concrete plan of action for the conservation of the European forest genetic resources.

Material/Methods: For each species 10 to 25 populations (19 to 25 trees per population) were used for Allegro genotyping and exome capture sequencing, respectively, in order to produce around several thousands SNPs for each species. A bioinformatics pipeline was constructed, using the R and UNIX environments, in order to automatically analyze the data and estimate genetic parameters.

Results: To assess genetic variation from a conservation perspective, we estimated for all populations of each species, expected (He) and observed (Ho) heterozygosity, the inbreeding coefficient (FIS), and the FST(i) as the genetic differentiation of a single population compared to all others within a species. Moreover, we have also calculated the Effective Population Size (Ne), and the folded Site Frequency Spectrum (SFS) with its respective concavity, to infer a possible signal of underlying evolutionary forces.

Conclusion: A set, and overview of conservation genetics parameters is provided for a network of natural populations across the species range for some of the most important forest trees in Europe. Τhese parameters will be useful to highlight population properties, such as high genetic diversity, or severe genetic bottlenecks and conceive strategies ranging from in situ gene conservation to genetic rescue. Therefore, these results can serve as a powerful tool for novel approaches in conservation and management.

Bibliografic references :

Scaglione, D., Pinosio, S., et al. (2019). Ann Bot. 2019 Oct 29;124(4):543-552. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcz054.

Puritz, JB & Lotterhos, KE. (2018) Mol Ecol Resour. 18: 1209– 1222. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12905

Keywords : genetic diversity, inbreeding, genetic uniqueness, demography, conservation