Understanding the genetic origin of trees, and specifically the genetic mechanisms that influence cold hardiness, is essential for successful adaptive forest management and reforestation efforts in a changing climate. However, little is known about the genetic factors controlling cold hardiness in native and introduced Juglans (walnut) species, which are highly desirable trees for their valuable edible nuts and high-quality timber. Professor Douglass Jacobs (Forestry and Natural Resources) and co-authors studied cold hardiness among Juglans species using both physiological data and gene expressions. They found important differences in genetic diversity among native and hybrid species, and identified molecular markers that can assist scientists in selecting Juglans species for desired cold hardiness traits.
Ebrahimi A, Lawson SS, McKenna JR, and Jacobs DF (2020) Morpho-Physiological and Genomic Evaluation of Juglans Species Reveals Regional Maladaptation to Cold Stress. Frontiers in Plant Science 11:229. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00229