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Award Abstract #1238885

Combining Genomics, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Modeling to Understand Adaptation to Growing Season Length in Balsam Poplar

NSF Org: IOS
Division Of Integrative Organismal Sys
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Initial Amendment Date: January 18, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: February 18, 2014
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Award Number: 1238885
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: Anne Sylvester
IOS Division Of Integrative Organismal Sys
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
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Start Date: January 15, 2013
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End Date: December 31, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $780,763.00
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Investigator(s): Stephen Keller srkeller@uvm.edu (Principal Investigator)
Cathlyn Stylinski (Co-Principal Investigator)
Andrew Elmore (Co-Principal Investigator)
David Nelson (Co-Principal Investigator)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences
BOX 775
Cambridge, MD 21613-0775 (410)221-2014
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NSF Program(s): PLANT GENOME RESEARCH PROJECT
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Program Reference Code(s): 1329, 7577, 9109, 9178, 9179, 9251, BIOT
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Program Element Code(s): 1329

ABSTRACT

PI: Stephen Keller (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Frostburg, MD)

CoPIs: Andrew Elmore, Matthew Fitzpatrick, David Nelson, and Cathlyn Stylinski (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Frostburg, MD)

Key Collaborator: Raju Soolanayakanahally (Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada)

Translating genomic information into knowledge of environmental adaptation and prediction of performance under field conditions are core challenges facing plant biologists. The goal of associating genome-wide diversity to functional plant phenotypes has created emerging needs for high-throughput phenotyping under field conditions and new analytical tools that can identify and visualize the relationships between genomic diversity and the environment. This project will integrate tools from genomics, remote sensing, and geospatial modeling to study the genetic basis of climate adaptation in balsam poplar, Populus balsamifera, a keystone tree species in North America. Sampling will be focused on balsam poplar's southern range edge in order to study the physiological adaptations of populations to the warmest, earliest onset growing seasons within its geographic range. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data will be generated for 600 poplar genotypes and used to perform genome scans for local adaptation and association mapping for phenology, growth, and water use efficiency traits. Regions of the genome associated with climate adaptation will be used to predict field performance using an independent sample of genotypes and an innovative remote sensing approach to measure phenology. New spatial analytical methods will be developed to characterize the associations between genomic variation and environmental gradients of climate and growing season length, and to visualize the landscape surface of adaptive variation under both current and projected climates.

Cross-disciplinary training in the latest techniques in ecological genomics, remote sensing, and spatial modeling will be provided to undergraduate and graduate students. Minority and first-generation undergraduate students will be recruited through partnerships with Frostburg State University's McNair Program and other organizations. Public outreach to rural communities will be conducted through a multi-faceted science program centered on engaging the public in the science of genomics, plant phenology, and climate change, in collaboration with the National Phenology Network (www.usanpn.org/). Genomic sequence data will be publically available through NCBI's sequence read archive and DOE's Knowledgebase. SNP genotypes, phenotypic traits, and remotely sensed phenology data will be publically accessible through Data DRYAD (www.datadryad.org). A software package in landscape genomics will be developed for the R project for statistical computing, and publically accessible through the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN: http://cran.r-project.org/). Finally, new germplasm and associated genomic and phenotypic results will be available upon request.

 

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