Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 227–238 | Cite as

Genetic gain from selection for rooting ability and early growth in vegetatively propagated clones of loblolly pine

  • Brian S. BaltunisEmail author
  • Dudley A. Huber
  • Timothy L. White
  • Barry Goldfarb
  • Henry E. Stelzer
Original Paper


A successful clonal forestry program for loblolly pine based on rooted cutting technology needs to consider selection for both rooting ability and subsequent field growth. Rooting ability and second-year height were assessed in more than 2,000 clones from 70 full-sib families of loblolly pine. The bivariate analysis of rooting ability from five rooting trials and field growth from six field trials allowed for estimation of the genetic covariance between rooting ability and second-year height for parental effects, full-sib family effects, and the total genetic value of clones within full-sib family. There was a positive genetic relationship between rooting ability and second-year height at all three genetic levels. The genetic correlation at the parental level between rooting ability and second-year height \({\left( {\widehat{r}_{{{\text{B}}_{{{\text{GCA}}}} }} } \right)}\) was 0.32. At the full-sib family level, the genetic correlation between traits \({\left( {\widehat{r}_{{{\text{B}}_{{{\text{FS}}}} }} } \right)}\) was 0.39. The correlation of total genetic values of clones for rooting ability and second-year height \({\left( {\widehat{r}_{{{\text{B}}_{{{\text{TG}}}} }} } \right)}\) was 0.29. The genetic gain in rooting ability and second-year height was estimated for a number of deployment options based on various selection scenarios using the best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) values from the bivariate analysis. The deployment strategies compared were (1) half-sib family deployment, (2) full-sib family deployment, and (3) clonal deployment. Moderate to high family and clonal mean heritabilities, moderate to high type B genetic correlations, and substantial among-family and among-clone genetic variation indicate the potential for increasing rooting efficiency and improving growth.


Genetic gain Clonal selection Genetic correlation 



The authors thank the members of the Forest Biology Research Cooperative for supporting this research. The authors extend their appreciation to the FBRC members who installed a study site: Weyerhaeuser, Plum Creek, Rayonier, MeadWestvaco, and International Paper Company. Special thanks go to the University of Georgia for also establishing a study site. We thank Dr. Harry Wu for helpful comments on an earlier draft. Also, appreciation is extended to the two anonymous reviewers and Randy Johnson (Associate Editor) for their many relevant suggestions. This research was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and approved for publication as Journal Series No. R-XXXX.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian S. Baltunis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dudley A. Huber
    • 1
  • Timothy L. White
    • 1
  • Barry Goldfarb
    • 2
  • Henry E. Stelzer
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Environmental ResourcesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  3. 3.Department of ForestryUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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