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From 1990 to 2015, forest area has decreased (-3.1% of the global forest area) whereas growing population and diversification of wood uses would require an increase of wood production. In that context, highly productive planted forests are likely to meet the growing demand for forest products (roundwood, fiber, fuelwood, non-wood forest products) allowing the preservation of environmental and social services from natural forests. Planted forests are composed of trees genetically selected for growth, wood quality and adaptation. Tree breeding programmes face two main challenges in a near future: climatic change forcing breeders to integrate new selection criteria related to adaptation (for example, drought resistance or resistance to emerging pests) and new applications of forest products (substitution to nonrenewable resources with wood products). From a breeder's point of view, these challenges mean that the breeding cycles must have the ability, first, to integrate a higher number of selection criteria, and, second, to accelerate the frequency of release of new improved varieties. Recent developments in genomics bring the possibility of genotyping several thousands of individuals, something that has never been possible in tree breeding before. For the first time, markers have become a valuable tool in the design of new breeding strategies. They can be used to simplify mating and / or to predict phenotype at a very early age, allowing the option of avoiding the costs of controlled crossing followed by progeny testing. For effective implementation into real tree breeding programmes, these new breeding strategies have to be evaluated in various contexts. This is the aim of my project: new breeding strategies implementing the use of molecular markers will be evaluated by simulations for maritime pine, radiata pine and eucalyptus.
After an educational background in agronomic sciences (AgroParisTech), I have specialized in quantitative genetics with a PhD in forest tree breeding. I have then worked for a forestry institute as a breeder during 4 years. In 2012, I joined the forest genetics team at INRA Pierroton as researcher on a permanent position. My research is mainly focused on the maritime pine breeding programme with two main objectives: to accelerate the breeding cycles and to integrate new adaptive traits. I have contributed to the development of molecular markers to enhance new breeding strategies. I am currently carrying out an AgreenSkills project at SCION, the New Zealand Forest Research Institute. This mobility project aims to design innovative tree breeding strategies based on the use of genomic tools. It will also highlight key parameters to implement these strategies depending both on the species characteristics and on the socio-economic context.
Vidal M., Plomion C., Raffin A., Harvengt L., Bouffier L. 2017. Forward selection in a maritime pine polycross progeny trial using pedigree reconstruction. Annals of Forest Science 74(1). Doi: 10.1007/s13595-016-0596-8.
Bartholomé J., Van Heerwaarden J., Isik F., Boury C., Vidal M., Plomion C., Bouffier L. 2016. Performance of genomic prediction within and across generations in maritime pine. BMC Genomics, 17:604. Doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-28798.
Plomion, C., Bartholomé, J., Lesur, I.,Boury., RodriguezQuilon, I., Lagraulet, H., Ehrenmann, F., Bouffier, L., Gion, JM., Grivet, D., de Miguel, M., de Maria, N., Cervera, MT., Bagnoli, F., Isik, F., Vendramin, GG., Gonzalez-Martinez, SC., 2016. High-density SNP assay development for genetic analysis in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). Molecular Ecology Resources 16, 574-587.
Isik F., Bartholomé J., Farjat A., Chancerel E., Raffin A., Sanchez L., Plomion C., Bouffier L. 2016. Genomic selection in maritime pine. Plant Science, 242, 108-119.
Vidal M., Plomion C., Harvengt L., Raffin A., Boury C., Bouffier L., 2015. Paternity recovery in two maritime pine polycross mating designs and consequences for breeding. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 11: 105. Doi: 10.1007/ s11295-015-0932-4.