, Volume 97, Issue 7, pp 1110-1119

Developmental quantitative genetics of growth in Populus

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 Nursery growth and dry weight were analyzed for F2 genotypes derived from Populus trichocarpa×P. deltoides that have been field tested with clonal replicates in three different environments. The correlations between nursery and plantation performance differed among the environments, with higher values at Boardman and Clatskanie (both planted with rooted cuttings) than Puyallup (planted with unrooted cuttings). At Puyallup, nursery height was more strongly associated with plantation growth than were nursery diameter and dry weight. Yet, this finding was not supported by QTL mapping. A single overdominant QTL on linkage group G affected the stem height of both seedlings and resprouts in the nursery but showed nonsignificant LOD scores for plantation height from ages 1 to 5 at Puyallup. A total of four QTLs were identified for nursery diameter, one of which on linkage group O also controlled plantation basal area at all ages. Two important nursery QTLs on linkage groups B and G were used to estimate the relative efficiency of marker-assisted selection for plantation productivity. Despite the fact that they were not detected in the plantation stage, these two QTLs could significantly increase the proportion of the phenotypic variance explained by plantation QTLs.

Received: 5 February 1998 / Accepted: 1 April 1998