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Last update: May 2021

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Xylomes - Wood, Genomes et Anthropic Selection


Xylomes - Wood, Genomes et Anthropic Selection

Team leaders : Jean-Marc Gion & Grégoire le Provost

Manager : Florence Le Pierres

The scientific objectives of "Xylomes" are to identify the genetic and environmental determinants of wood production at quantitative and qualitative levels, in order to propose selection methodologies for sustainable management of forest resources. Technological advances in genotyping and phenotyping now allow integrative biology approaches to better understand the determinants of wood, for different forest tree species.

Background and motivation

To meet different types of needs/functions of forests (production, protection, and social), the human pressure is one of the evolutionary forces that shape the genetic diversity of this biological resource. A better characterization of the genetic variability of anthropic interest is necessary to develop more precise selection criteria capable of guiding the pressure on forests. As a renewable and recyclable resource with multiple uses, wood is a major product of forests to meet economic, environmental and social needs. Biologically, the wood tissue is a marker of both tree ontogeny and tree responses to past climatic events. At the biological and mechanical levels, this object of study is a key tissue to characterize the genetic variability of forest resources, which is necessary to ensure sustainable management of forests to meet various economic, environmental and societal needs.

Objectives and scientific strategy

The XYLOMES research questions are structured around three main issues:

i/ What is the variability of wood production and its properties?
ii/ What are the environmental determinants of wood production and wood properties?
iii/ What are the genetic determinants of wood production and wood properties?

To predict and select wood production and properties based on genomic information, we propose an integrated approach, combining the development of genomic resources as well as ad hoc genetic resources (field device, pedigrees, gene pool...), the fine and high throughput characterization of wood production and properties (from micro... to macro scales) as a function of environmental heterogeneity (spatial and temporal), characterization of the metabolic pathways involved and of the underlying genes, modeling of the GxE interaction (spatial and temporal), selection methodologies (genomic, phenotypic...), implementation of ad hoc databases allowing easy access and management of the generated data.

Our integrated approach should allow us to propose different selection strategies using genetic information and/or a better knowledge of the wood properties of forest genetic resources.
The biological models studied will be forest trees with a particular focus on species subject to anthropogenic selection: genetic improvement program, seed selection for reforestation, selection of populations/individuals for a specific objective (agroforestry, phyto-management, green chemistry...).

Key words

Forest trees, architecture, wood formation, wood heterogeneity at intra- & inter- individual levels, genetic and environmental determinants, adaptation and GxE interaction, modeling and prediction, selection methodology.

Staff members


Fixed-term employees/Post-doc

PhD students

Didier Bert (IR INRAE)

Mathilde Flores

Geoffrey Haristoy

Laurent Bouffier (CR INRAE)

Victor Papin

Frédéric Danjon (CR INRAE)

François Ehrenmann (IE, INRAE)

Jean-Marc Gion (DR CIRAD)

Marc Kleinhentz (IR INRAE)

Jean-Charles Leplé (CR INRAE)

Grégoire Le Provost (CR INRAE)

Raphaël Ségura (AI INRAE)

Maude Toigo (MCF BSA)