Quercus suber

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Q. suber
Common Name
Cork Oak
Genome Size
953.3 Mb
Chromosome number

Quercus suber, commonly known as cork oak is an evergreen tree, native to the western Mediterranean Basin, and mostly distributed in southwest Europe and northern Africa, where it occurs in the coastal regions. Cork oak forests are part of an ecological system known as “montado” that is unique in the world, harboring a great diversity of native species of fauna and flora and preventing desertification in vulnerable areas. Cork oak has the unique ability to produce a continuous layer of bark (cork) that protects the tree from adverse environmental conditions. Cork is a raw material with fine physical and chemical properties and wide range of applications, making it highly profitable for industrial uses. Given the unique ability to regenerate cork layers after harvest, cork production is exploited as a sustainable system through many production cycles, contributing for forest conservation and local economies. and northwest Africa. Over the last decades, a decline in cork oak populations has been observed, eventually as a result of agriculture intensification, biotic stresses, fires and climate changes. The availability of the cork oak genome sequence is highly relevant to tackle this challenges and answer key fundamental issues regarding cork oak biology, such as cork development, reproduction, improved growth and resistance to environmental challenges (diseases, drought, heat waves, …).

Image: HL8 Cork oak tree selected for genome sequencing (Ramos et al., 2018). Photo credit: Lia Rodrigues

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