Project title: Genomics of oak trees and their microbiota
Summary: Oaks are one of the most widely distributed trees in the northern hemisphere with a genus including over 600 species. They are found throughout Asia, Europe and North America and have huge cultural, ecological and economic value.
Oaks are long-living trees and have to adapt to changing biotic and abiotic factors to survive. They interact with a multitude of microorganisms as well as fungi, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals during their long lifespan; some of these interactions are beneficial while others can compromise their health and bring diseases, such as chronic oak decline, acute oak decline and sudden oak death.
In collaboration with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Forest Research, whole genome short read sequence data was generated for the genomes and leaf microbiomes of about 450 oak trees across five UK locations.
This project aims to analyze this data to uncover the genetic diversity of UK oak trees and their microbiota and begin to understand the genetic components underlying oak health.