ADAPTABILITY Project Description - Workplan
Draft Text

The working hypothesis of the project is that the environment (temperature and /or photoperiod) during the sexual reproduction determines the adaptive properties of the progenies.

The potential causes for this type of adaptation may be twofold:

1. Selection processes, acting on gametophyte during male and female meiosis (meiotic drive), pollen tube growth, megaspore degeneration, fertilisation and embryo competition

2. Environmentally induced gene expression (genomic imprinting) during the reproductive process specifies the production of particular gene products (proteins, enzymes or regulatory molecules) shaping the expression of adaptive traits in the progenies

The investigations will mainly be conducted with full-sib families from controlled crosses made under different temperature / photoperiodic regimes. The question whether there is evidence for selection during the reproductive process will be answered on the basis of comparisons between the genetic structures of pollen, ovules and embryos from controlled crossings of the same parents under different environments. For this purpose different molecular markers such as allozymes and microsatellites (SSR, STS and EST) and newly developed codominat inherited EST-markers (Expressed sequence tags) will be used.

In a second step seedlings of these full-sib families will be grown under controlled green house conditions and experiments on drought and frost stress will be conducted for further phenological, physiological and DNA investigations.

The aim of the physiological research should be, to analyse whether there are differences in metabolic pathways (in vitro translation) which are involved in frost and drought resistance within the full-sib families from different crossing environments.

Special molecular genetic methods will play a central part in the projekt especially to investigarte effects of environmentally induced gene expression. For this purpose investigations on differential gene expression patterns between and within full-sib families from different crossing environment will be conducted by methylation analyses of DNA, RNA fingerprinting (DDRT-PCR) / in vitro translation and on the basis of 140 newly identified stress induced cDNA clones from genes involved in stress response mechanisms.

Additionally a short term field trial will be established with seedlings from different Norwegian stands planted with provenances from several European countries as well asoriginal Norwegian provenances. Based on the project results practical recommendations will be developed for seed producers, tree breeders and gene resource conservation purposes.

List of Participants

The project follows a clear task structure and is organized in major-workpackages and sub-workpackages

List of Workpackages

Project structure

Project Structure
Click for an image of the project structure

The project consists of two phases: Phase I Within phase one the investigations are based on seed material from crossings in the years 1989, 1993 and 1998. These crossings were conducted by participant 3. In the beginning of the project this material will be delivered to each participant. Phase II In the beginning of the project further crossings will be conducted under four different crossing environments (combinations of temperature and photoperiode). Seed material from these crossings will be available after 18 month. Seedlings from these seeds will be tested to seperate the impacts of photoperiod and temperature given during sexual reproduction of the mother clones.

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