2014-2015 Projet financé par ANR investissement d'avenir France Génomique, OAKADAPT: Using genome scan of DNA polymorphism and gene expression data for the discovery of genes that matter for forest tree adaptation: oak as a study case. Coordinateur : Christophe Plomion (UMR Biogeco) partenaires : URGI (Versailles), CNRGV (Toulouse), MIA-T (Toulouse), GDEC (Clermont-Ferrand).
The main objective of this project is to explore the role of gene expression and structural variations (including the specific role of transposable elements) in contributing to local adaptation and ecological speciation in a keystone forest tree species: oak. We will generate sequences at the population and inter-specific levels to study these two processes whereby a genotype, a population, or a species becomes better suited to its habitat. At the individual level we will describe
the molecular plasticity of gene expression during primary and secondary meristematic growth, and test for the first time at the genomic scale whether genetic heterogeneity due to somatic mutations in such long-lived species have accumulated at a rate that could contribute to enhance their adaptive capacity. A first draft of a genome sequence of this diploid species is available for mapping short reads and extract information related to polymorphisms and gene expression. The project will also aim at improving the first draft of the oak genome by developing a BAC-pool short-read sequencing strategy to overcome some of the difficulties in assembling this highly heterozygous genome.