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2nd Conifer Genome Summit* – Outcome Statement

The 2nd Conifer Genome Summit convened at Forêt Montmorency near Québec City (Canada), 16-18 June 2014 to facilitate updates on advanced approaches in conifer genome sequencing, assembly and annotation, as well as updates on the interpretation and practical tree breeding applications of the information gleaned from conifer genomes.

This year’s Summit also highlighted a range of studies revealing biological insights into such processes as stress responses, insect and pathogen resistance mechanisms, adaptation to climate, wood formation, and regulatory control, in addition to research linking phenotype to genotype. It brought together 56 participants from Canada, New-Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA the UK.

Discussions identified targets to sustain developments and consensus statements on recent progress.

· Metrics were agreed upon for assessing genome assemblies: a set of sequences were identified to assess gene space representation and coverage.
· Database development: available conifer genome sequence assemblies form pine and spruces, annotations, and gene expression data are being integrated into Congenie (http://congenie.org/), a publically accessible web-portal developed as a community resource.
· Genomic selection is becoming established as a promising method for accelerating applied tree breeding with proof-of-concept experiments in several spruce species.
· Development of genetic resources: single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in expressed genes are being compiled for several species and integrated with plans to facilitate the utilization by tree breeding organizations.
· Outcomes from conifers genomics research include tools and methods of interest to researchers working in other systems; these include COS markers.
· A 3rd Conifer Genome Summit is being planned for 2015 to continue optimizing links between conifer genome sequences.

*Jointly organized by the SMarTForests Project (Canada) and the Norway Spruce Genome Project (Sweden) and open to all members of the forest genomics community

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