24th Nov., 2013. In an article titled, “Generation, functional annotation and comparative analysis of black spruce (Picea mariana) ESTs: an important conifer genomic resource,” published in BMC genomics, Ishminder K Mann, Jill L Wegrzynand Om P Rajora have reported the first high quality EST resource for black spruce and identified 493 novel transcripts. The latter may be species-specific and related to life history and ecological traits. They have also identified full-length genes and microsatellite-containing ESTs. Based on EST sequence similarities, black spruce showed close evolutionary relationships with congeneric Picea glauca and P. sitchensis
compared to other Pinaceae members and angiosperms. The EST sequences reported here provide an important resource for genome annotation, functional and comparative genomics, molecular
breeding, conservation and management studies and their applications in the improvement of black spruce and related conifer species.