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Genetic basis of growth, spring phenology and susceptibility to biotic stressors in maritime pine

Cite this dataset

Budde, Katharina Birgit (2021). Genetic basis of growth, spring phenology and susceptibility to biotic stressors in maritime pine [Dataset]. Dryad.


Forest ecosystems are increasingly challenged by extreme events, e.g. drought, storms, pest and pathogenic fungi outbreaks, causing severe ecological and economical losses. Understanding the genetic basis of adaptive traits in tree species is of key importance to preserve forest ecosystems, as genetic variation in a trait (i.e. heritability) determines its potential for human-mediated or evolutionary change. Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), a conifer widely distributed in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, grows under contrasted environmental conditions promoting local adaptation. Genetic variation at adaptive phenotypes, including height, growth phenology and susceptibility to two fungal pathogens (Diplodia sapinea and Armillaria ostoyae) and an insect pest (Thaumetopoea pityocampa), were assessed in a range-wide clonal common garden of maritime pine. Broad-sense heritability was significant for height (0.219), growth phenology (0.165-0.310) and pathogen susceptibility (necrosis length caused by D. sapinea, 0.152; and by A. ostoyae, 0.021) measured after inoculation under controlled conditions, but not for pine processionary moth incidence in the common garden. The correlations of trait variation among populations revealed contrasting trends for pathogen susceptibility to D. sapinea and A. ostoyae with respect to height. Taller trees showed longer necrosis length caused by D. sapinea while shorter trees were more affected by A. ostoyae. Moreover, maritime pine populations from areas with high summer temperatures and frequent droughts were less susceptible to D. sapinea but more susceptible to A. ostoyae. Finally, an association study using 4,227 genome-wide SNPs revealed several loci significantly associated to each trait (range of 3-26), including a possibly disease-induced translation initiation factor, eIF-5. This study provides important insights to develop genetic conservation and breeding strategies integrating species responses to biotic stressors.