FastTRAC II: Fast Tests for Rating and Amelioration of Conifers 2

Principal Investigator: Jean Bousquet
Theme : Forestry
Competition : Genome Canada competition - Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)
Status : In progress
Start : Apr. 1, 2022
End: Mar. 31, 2025
Budget : $6,143,852.00

Climate change a critical challenge for the Canadian forestry sector. The production of improved varieties using conventional tree breeding processes is slow (up to 30 years per cycle for temperate/boreal conifers) and cannot keep pace with the global rate climate change.  Red spruce and black spruce are among the most planted conifer species in eastern Canada (with about 100 million trees planted annually) and there is urgent need for technologies capable of selecting and producing new varieties that will be adaptive to climate change over their 40 to 60 years of growth and that can capture more CO2.


Recent success from the FastTRAC1 GAPP project supported on white spruce and Norway spruce demonstrated that Genomic Selection (GS), a tool that predicts the breeding value of a candidate tree for any trait of interest using its genomic profile, reduces the timeline for the selection by 20 to 25 years. This project will implement GS to accelerate the selection and enhance advanced-generation red spruce and black spruce planting stocks with a focus on growth productivity and wood quality traits, as well as adaptation to climate through genomic monitoring on the effects of introgression (transfer of genetic material from one species into the gene pool of another) between the two species.


 Lead Genome Centres: Génome Québec and Genome Atlantic


Users : 

Patrick Lenz Natural resources Canada
Bruce Stewart Nova Scotia Department of Lands & Forestry