Optimizing the management and sustainable
use of forest genetic resources in Europe

'From genotypes to phenotypes: assessing forest tree diversity in the wild' - training course

4-7 June 2018, Kaunas, Lithuania
Pinus sylvestris growing on poor sandy soils and Cladiniosum site type. GenTree sampling site in Marcinkonys (southern Lithuania). Photo: D.Danusevicius/ASU

Assessing how genetic diversity at potentially adaptive loci is structured in natural forest tree populations, is a complex matter. Demographic processes and natural selection interact to produce genomic signatures that need to be disentangled.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among living organisms. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. Studies based on SNP genotyping in trees, in particular on variation underlying adaptive traits, is an expanding research field which will help understand how trees adapt to climate change.

The course will show how genomic data sets can be analyzed to yield information on how environmental factors shape local adaptation and how genomic variation affect phenotypic diversity and how this can be used in breeding programs.


Main topics of the course include:

  • Genomics: from theory to practice
  • SNP genotyping
  • statistical analysis of molecular data (methods and software)
  • high throughput phenotyping for association studies
  • measuring and analyzing variability at potentially adaptive genes.

The lectures are based on datasets, analyses and preliminary results from research conducted within GenTree project. The last day of the course will be spent in the field to acquire experience with drone-based phenotyping. Nice weather, beautiful forests and good atmosphere are guaranteed!


Faculty of Forest Science and Ecology, Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Studentų str. 11, LT-53361 Akademija, Kaunas reg., Lithuania


Ivan Scotti (INRA, France), Santiago González-Martínez (INRA, France), Tanja Pyhäjärvi (University of Oulu, Finland), Leopoldo Sanchez-Rodriguez, INRA, France

For whom is this course?

The course is intended for PhD students and young researchers of forestry, ecology and forest genetics. The content will be tailored to the background and experience of applicants.

To participate:

The course is designed for a maximum of 20 participants, who will be selected based on their background and motivation.

Lectures, food and accommodation are free of charge. Travel expenses are responsibility of the attendees (GenTree may support travel for some of the applicants).

This course is co-organised with EVOLTREE that can reimburse the participation expenses of its members (up to 600 EUR).

To apply, please fill in the registration form by 23 April 2018.


Please contact Darius Danusevicius (darius.danusevicius (at) asu.lt)

Detailed programme

You can download the programme here

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