Gene and Genome Sequencing in Conifers: Modern Era

  • David B. Neale
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler


We have defined the period up to the late 1990s as the classical era of the study of conifer genomes (Chap.  2) and everything after that as the modern era. The distinction between these two eras is based largely on the availability of DNA sequences. DNA sequencing of conifer DNA in fact began much earlier. The first report of sequencing of conifer DNA, to our knowledge, was that of Kenny et al. (1988). In this study, Kenny et al. (1988) cloned a small piece of Pinus contorta genomic DNA (gDNA) and sequenced the DNA manually using the chain termination method of Sanger (Sanger et al. 1977). They then compared the DNA sequence and the translated amino acid sequence to other published actin gene sequences. In the decade that followed, there were dozens of similar reports where short pieces of DNA (either from gDNA or complementary DNA (cDNA)) were sequenced and compared to sequence entries in growing databases of DNA sequences. This very early period of DNA sequencing will be covered briefly as it pertains to an understanding of gene structure in conifers (Chap.  5). In this chapter, we will begin in the late 1990s with high-throughput expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing, the primary technology used to study conifer genomes for the ensuing 15 years or more. Then we will cover gene sequencing using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, called RNA-seq, that began in 2010. Finally, we will summarize the work on full genome sequencing in conifers that began in 2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Neale
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.ConsultantCentraliaUSA

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