Dissecting the Molecular Basis for Dormancy in Trees

Grants and Contracts Details


Understanding the genetic control of tree dormancy and flowering is tantamount to implementing strategies to improve fruit and forest tree performance in the Anthropocene. Significant inroads have been achieved in uncovering the networks of genes and their actions governing phenological traits in model systems but we need to translate these advances to tree species that underpin our agricultural and forest industries, particularly in light of the challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate. Leveraging these model system advances, genes and networks controlling these traits are being assessed in fruit and forest tree materials that exhibit phenotypic variation in dormancy and flowering through QTL mapping and RNAseq analyses. The work objectives for this cooperative are as follows. 1) Dr. T. Zhebentyayeva who is currently working on these traits in both fruiting and forest trees will analyze RNAseq data generated by the AFRS of fruit tree buds progressing from late August through budburst in the spring to characterize the gene action of specific dormancy and flowering associated genes and gene networks and to identify additionally important genes and networks potentially controlling these traits. 2) Dr. T. Zhebentyayeva will integrate data from previous and proposed studies in fruit trees with datasets of mapped genomic intervals controlling these traits in key forest tree species under study at the FHC to uncover genes and networks in common for controlling these traits. These will be targets of selections for improvement of tree performance. 3) Dr. T. Zhebentyayeva will also participate in data analyses associated with the AFRS’s efforts at single cell expression analyses that has application to furthering our understanding of environmental sensing and response systems in tissue specific control of gene action in complex tissues such as floral buds. 4) Dr. T. Zhebentyayeva will participate and assist directly in manuscript and proposal development and submission.
Effective start/end date9/25/239/25/23


  • Agricultural Research Service


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