Consolidating and curating datasets for ash genomics

Project lead(s)   Dr Laura Kelly | Research Leader | RBG Kew

Contributors/partners   University of Kentucky
Project status   Completed pilot year project
Project funding  £96K
Research outcome   Adaptation
Ash dieback is predicted to cost the UK £15 billion, and further devastation may occur if the emerald ash borer arrives. Kew have undertaken substantial research on ash genomics and discovered genetic variation that can give resistance to these threats. This project will consolidate our existing datasets and make sure we get full value from them. This work will include:

  • Completing the analysis of a dataset we have in-hand from a pilot woodland in Surrey, looking for loci associated with resistance to ash dieback, and the ongoing effects of natural selection for ash dieback resistance.
  • Re-annotating new ash genome reference sequences in collaboration with the University of Kentucky and using this to seek more genes associated with resistance to emerald ash borer.
  • Re-analysis of previous ash dieback GWAS datasets using the new reference assemblies, to more fully understand the basis for ash dieback resistance.
  • Further analysis of the evolution of the genus Fraxinus using new genome assemblies.
  • Enhancing the accessibility of this data for the use of other groups.
This project will deliver:

  • A scientific paper on natural selection for ash dieback resistance in Marden Park Wood.
  • New publicly available ash reference genome annotations and improved public access to ash genome data.
  • A report on the distribution of ash dieback resistance markers in the ash genome.
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive insect from Asia that targets ash trees.

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