The spruce genome project has the objective to perform complete genome sequencing of one genotype of the Swedish spruce breeding program, obtain information about expression profiles of genes across different tissues, determine the function of subset of these genes, identify genes responsible for natural variation of ecologically and economically important traits and provide markers for efficient breeding of superior spruce genotypes for the Swedish forestry.
The project is coordinated by UPSC, include scientists at SciLifeLab in Stockholm and is financed by a SEK 75 million grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, plus matchning funding from the participating universities. The project is expected to last five years, and apart from eight Swedish group leaders (Björn Andersson, SciLife and KI, Rishikesh Bhalerao UPSC, Rosario Garcia Gil UPSC, Pär Ingvarsson, UPSC, Stefan Jansson, UPSC, Joakim Lundeberg SciLife and KTH, Ove Nilsson UPSC and Björn Sundberg UPSC) Canadian, Italian and Belgian and scientists are to contribute to the project.
Conifers have dominated on earth for hundreds of millions of years. Primitive amphibians were crawling around in conifer forests during the Carboniferousera. Conifer forests survived the geological catastrophe for 250 million years ago that opened up for the dinosaurs. Their main food were conifers related to spruce and pines of today. And conifers still lived on earth when a meteorite impact of approximately 65 million years ago finished the time of the dinosaurs. Even today, conifers dominate large parts of the globe - all the people on earth together do not weigh more than the coniferous trees in Jämtland County of Sweden.
The tree to gets its genome sequenced was originally collected in 1959 in eastern Jämtland