Institute of

Forest Genetics

Secretariat Großhansdorf

Irene Joraszik

Sieker Landstraße 2
22927 Großhansdorf
Phone: +49 4102 696 0
Fax: +49 4102 696 200

Secretariat Waldsieversdorf

Rosi Adler

Eberswalder Chaussee 3a
15377 Waldsieversdorf
Phone: +49 33433 157 0
Fax: +49 33433 157 199

Provenance and Breeding Research

Within the research group provenance trials are conducted with a variety of broadleaved and coniferous tree species. Species are evaluated for their productivity and adaptability. These investigations provide the necessary foundation/data for decision processes leading to national and international laws that govern the distribution, propagation and use of forest reproductive material. Hereby, an important focus is research on the genetic and epigenetic bases of adaptedness and adaptability of tree populations to climate change. Tree breeding research concerns the optimization of biomass and valuable/high-end wood production in several tree species. Here, research focuses on fast-growing tree species (poplars, willows, black locust, and hybrid larch). The evaluation and documentation of forest genetic resources at national and European levels is an additional focus within the research group.

Pathogen Resistance and Seed Quality Research

Research within the group is conducted on resilience and resistance of tree species against biotic and abiotic detrimental factors, as well as, on the assessment of forest reproductive material. Investigated are interactions between pathogens and forest tree species, resistance mechanisms and genetically determined host-pathogen specificity. In addition, the impacts of pathogen infestations are investigated in tree nurseries, as well as on the stability and genetic structure of forest tree populations. One research area within the group concerns approaches for evaluating seed quality. Hereby, new methods for quality assessment are developed for forest seed lots.

Ecological Genetics

The research group investigates the impacts of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on the genetic diversity of tree and shrub populations and their associated organisms. One research focus is formed by studies on the impacts of global change, forest management and stand fragmentation. Among these are studies that use genetic forest monitoring approaches. Research results contribute to forest management recommendations aiming at maintaining and increasing forest ecosystem stability and adaptability. They, in addition, contribute to the development of conservation strategies for threatened tree and shrub species. Research focuses furthermore on the identification of the geographic origin of timber, wood products and seed lots, as well as the employment of genetic markers for species identification. Main goals are the development of national and international certifying and timber tracking systems that assure the sustainable use of natural forests and the protection of economically valuable woody species.

Genome Research

Within Genome Research studies focus on the interrelations between genome structure and functioning, as well as the dependency of these interactions on environmental factors in forest trees. Hereby, especially traits of importance for adaptation and of economical interest are investigated for their geographic variability. Furthermore, molecular markers are developed for the evaluation of forest gene resources. These markers are employed in practical applications of marker-supported selection, as well as provenance and species identification. For the protection of native forest ecosystems the consequences of genetic engineering are evaluated. Hereby, research focuses on the benefits, potentials and risks of genetic engineering, including those of genetically engineered trees. Methods are developed to identify signatures of genetically modified genomes in trees and wood for the improvement of consumer protection.