Research

Molecular Projects

Quercus Genetic Studies - The University of Tennessee Tree Improvement Program (UT TIP) orchards, genetic field tests, and breeding materials have become the central genetic resource for a new multi-university, collaborative oak genomics research effort that is currently in the process of development. Before proceeding with genomics research for new species it is necessary to know the size of the genome with which one is working. UT TIP has provided all of the plant materials necessary for determining genome sizes. The trees that were sampled for "sizing" will now be the genotypes of choice for all researchers interested in constructing DNA libraries in the future. Genome sizing for 11 North American oak species for which genome sizes had not previously been determined was conducted recently by collaborator Dr. K. Arumuganathan at the Virginia Mason Research Center. All of the oak species tested have genomes (@ 750 Million base pairs) that are manageable in size for all aspects of genomics research. Projects in which the group is interested include mapping and isolating the genes in oaks that are responsible for growth, form, wood quality, chemistry, flowering, mast production and response to insect pests and diseases.

Investigators: John Carlson (Penn State University), Jeanne Romero-Severson (The University of Notre Dame), Wesley Bonds (Western Carolina University), Scott Schlarbaum (The University of Tennessee).