Tree-ring genomics

Research Focus

Conifers have been successfully adapting to changing climates over the past 250 million years, resulting in high genetic diversity and broad environmental ranges. However, long generation times combined with the greatly increased rate of climate change globally challenges trees’ ability to adapt, resulting in weakened individuals and eventually stand loss due to, e.g., catastrophic fire or disease. We use quantitative, computational and population genetic approaches in forests across Europe to understand the biological basis of climate adaptation in conifers, and, in applied context, predict individuals that can make locally adapted populations more resilient to changing climate.


Selected Publications

Kremling KAG, Chen SY, Su MH, et al. (2018) Dysregulation of expression correlates with rare-allele burden and fitness loss in maize. Nature 555(7697):520-3.

Swarts K, Gutaker RM, Benz B, et al. (2017) Genomic estimation of complex traits reveals ancient maize adaptation to temperate North America. Science 357(6350):512-5.

Navarro JAR, Wilcox M, Burgueo J, et al. (2017) A Study of Allelic Diversity Underlying Flowering-Time Adaptation in Maize Landraces. Nat Genet 49(3):476-80.

Swarts, K., Bauer, E., Glaubitz, J.C., Ho, T., Johnson, L., Li, Y., et al. (2016). A Large Scale Joint Analysis of Flowering Time Reveals Independent Temperate Adaptations in Maize. bioRxiv:086082.

Swarts K, Li H, Romero Navarro JA, et al. (2014) Novel Methods to Optimize Genotypic Imputation for Low-Coverage, Next-Generation Sequence Data in Crop Plants. Plant Genome 7.