The Norway Spruce genome

The whole genome of the Norway spruce was sequenced in a large international cooperation, led from Sweden by Umeå Plant Science Centre and SciLifeLab. The results were published in Nature in 2013. We now know the whole genome of several thousand species, most of which are bacteria. The Norway spruce is special due to its very large genome, seven times that of the human genome which was mapped in the large HUGO project.

100 twigs from a single Norway spruce tree were grafted onto root shoots of small spruce plants in preparation for the sequencing project. After the project was concluded a plant was gifted to SciLifeLab by Umeå Plant Science Centre via Stefan Jansson, who had been working in the sequencing project. In May 2015 that plant was donated to the Botanical Garden, where it will be planted in a suitable spot.

"In the same spirit as Carl Linnaeus' systematic exploration of flora and fauna, the Norway spruce has been mapped down to the smallest base pair, a project which took several years due to the very large genome of the Norway spruce. Because of this, we in the direction of SciLifeLab think that this individual so important to research fits in well in the Botanical Garden of Uppsala University", says Karin Forsberg Nilsson, Science director and member of SciLifeLab's national direction, who handed the spruce over to The Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala.

About SciLifeLab

SciLifeLab is a national centre for molecular biosciences, focusing on health and environment. The centre combines leading technical expertise with advanced knowledge within translational medicine and molecular biosciences. SciLifeLab is a national resource and a collaboration between four universities: Karolinska Institutet, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm University and Uppsala University. Press release about the genome sequencing of the Norway spruce from 2013: The Norway spruce genome sequenced

Last modified: 2021-11-09