This project will utilize available genome resources that have been developed at UPSC during the Norway spruce genome project that will allow us to assess, in detail, genetic diversity within and between stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies) across Sweden. This will further our understanding of how breeding and the introduction of improved seedlings (which represents the absolute majority of new commercially planted seedlings) is affecting the genetic diversity of natural forests. We aim to assess genetic variation within and among forest stands of Norway spruce that have been regenerated at different times across the last century to determine the impact of different forest management practices for forest regeneration and how the introduction of improved material from the ongoing breeding program of Norway spruce alters patterns of genetic diversity in natural spruce stands. Material will be collected from stands of different ages on both local and regional scales and hopefully from a current commercial seed orchards. Genetic diversity will be assessed using genotyping by sequencing on pooled samples, which is a cost-effective method for generating large amounts of genetic information in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Before we get the actual data we will conduct a pilot study on already sequenced individuals to make sure that as little information as possible is lost due to pooling.