While California redwoods are irrefutably iconic, the fact that there are two different species in California is often overlooked. Sharing the title of state tree of California, the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) are majestic, massive, and long-lived. These narrow endemics play important roles in ecology, economy, culture, and conservation. Although redwoods have been around for millions of years, we know very little about how these trees evolved to occupy their current range. To better understand the California redwoods and aid in their protection, we are sequencing their genomes for the first time and building tools to aid in the conservation and restoration of California’s remaining redwood forests. 




Coast Redwood

– Grows along the coast from Oregon to central California.

– Experienced extensive logging, followed by replanting. Management of dense second-growth stands requires thinning to restore old-growth forest.

– 26.5 Gb hexaploid genome (2n = 6x = 66)

– Genome assembly v2.2 available here

Giant Sequoia

– Grows in fragmented groves throughout the Sierra Nevada.

– Moderate historical logging, and reduced regeneration due to fire suppression. Grove maintenance and ex-situ conservation are priorities.

– 8 Gb diploid genome (2n = 2x = 22)

– Genome assembly v2.0 available here



Redwood Genome Team


University of California, Davis

David Neale

Tom Buckley

Alison Dawn Scott

Zane Moore

Brian Allen

Johns Hopkins University

Steven Salzberg

Daniela Puiu

Aleksey Zimin

Winston Timp

Rachael Workman

Save the Redwoods League

Emily Burns


Northern Arizona University

Amanda De La Torre

University of Connecticut

Jill Wegrzyn



Learn more about the Redwood Genome Project from our partner and funder Save the Redwoods League : https://www.savetheredwoods.org/project/redwood-genome-project/



  • De La Torre, A. R., Sekhwal, M. K., & Neale, D. B. (2021). Selective sweeps and polygenic adaptation drive local adaptation along moisture and temperature gradients in natural populations of coast redwood and giant sequoia. Genes12(11), 1826. Full Text.
  • De La Torre, A. R., Sekhwal, M. K., Puiu, D., Salzberg, S. L., Scott, A. D., Allen, B., Neale, D. B., Chin, A. R. O., & Buckley, T. N. (2021). Genome‐wide association identifies candidate genes for drought tolerance in coast redwood and giant sequoia. The Plant Journal, 109(1), 7-22. Full Text.
  • Neale, D. B., Zimin, A. V., Zaman, S., Scott, A. D., Shrestha, B., Workman, R. E., Puiu, D., Allen, B. J., Moore, Z. J., Sekhwal, M. K., De La Torre, A. R., McGuire, P. E., Burns, E., Timp, W., Wegrzyn, J. L., & Salzberg, S. L. (2021). Assembled and annotated 26.5 Gbp coast redwood genome: a resource for estimating evolutionary adaptive potential and investigating hexaploid origin. G3 Genes| Genomes| Genetics12(1). Full Text.


  • Scott, A.D., Zimin, A.V., Puiu, D., Workman, R., Britton, M., Zaman, S., Caballero, M., Read, A.C., Bogdanove, A.J., Burns, E., Wegrzyn, J., Timp, T., Salzberg, S.L., Neale, D.B. (2020) A Reference Genome Sequence for Giant Sequoia. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics10(11), 3907-3919. Full Text.



Participating Organizations

Institution logos | Northern Arizona University

UConn Logo&Seal [University of Connecticut] | University of connecticut, Connecticut colleges ...