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IUFRO The Advocate for Forest Science.
The Working Party on Breeding and Genetic Resources of Five-Needle Pines is concerned with research cooperation and exchange of information on all aspects of genetic research on the five-needle pines. This includes provenance testing and genetic resources, breeding, species hybridization, clonal propagation and testing, tissue or cell culture, cell and molecular genetics, and the genetics of host-pathogen interactions. Increasingly though we are using this knowledge to address issues related to climate change, land pressure and conservation.
The Unit has been particularly active over the past decade with three very informative meetings: Medford, Oregon USA (2001); Valiug, Romania (2006) and Yangyang, Korea (2008). The Proceedings of these meetings can be found in the publications page of this Working Party.
Although traditionally the Unit has focused on provenance testing, selection and breeding, especially against important pests and pathogens, particularly white pine blister rust. An increasing emphasis is now on gene conservation and the impact of climate change. We have gained a great deal of knowledge and have had some moderate successes with blister rust to our productive species (see Publications on upcoming Forest Pathology Series). But it is now apparent that land use pressures, climate change along with diseases such as blister rust require us to focus more on gene conservation efforts and develop a holistic view looking at genetics, ecology in the framework of conservation.