Session A : Accelerating breeding to cope with new challenges and uncertain future

Chairs: Leopoldo Sánchez-Rodríguez (INRAE, France), Chedly Kastally (University of Helsinki, Finland) 

Keynote: Laurence Moreau (GQE-Le Moulon, INRAE; France)

Brief description:

Genomic innovations in the last decade have led to promising improvements in the way tree breeding is conducted. Considerable benefits are expected from this new source of information: the shortening of breeding cycles, the rationalising of phenotyping in terms of costs, and the improved predictive and explanatory analyses decrypting phenomes, to name a few. At the same time, genomic data open up new possibilities for a better monitoring and long-term management of genetic diversity in breeding and conservation programs, which is essential for a challenging future. To leverage these new data to their full potential, methodological developments and proof-of-concept initiatives are required, not only for genome-wide predictions for which substantial advancements already exists in most domesticated species including some forest trees, but also by accounting for new ways of evaluating tree performance that are sensible to underlying interactions at genomic, environmental and conspecific levels. Last but no least, insights are needed on the impacts that these new developments could bring at the organisation level of the breeding programs. The aim of this session is to showcase methods harnessing new genomic technologies developed for forest tree breeding and illustrate using case studies the possibilities offered by these approaches, including their impacts to the breeding sector.