Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 147–164 | Cite as

Genomic regions involved in productivity of two interspecific poplar families in Europe. 1. Stem height, circumference and volume

  • Sophie Y. Dillen
  • Véronique Storme
  • Nicolas Marron
  • Catherine Bastien
  • Sabrina Neyrinck
  • Marijke Steenackers
  • Reinhart Ceulemans
  • Wout BoerjanEmail author
Original Paper


Interspecific hybrids of Populus species are known for their superior growth. In this study, we examined the effect of the genetic background and contrasting environmental conditions on growth and searched for quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting growth traits. To this end, two hybrid poplar families resulting from controlled crosses, Populus deltoides ‘S9-2’ × P. nigra ‘Ghoy’ (D × N, 180 F1) and P. deltoides ‘S9-2’ × P. trichocarpa ‘V24’ (D × T, 182 F1), were grown at two contrasting sites, Northern Italy and Central France. At the end of the second growing season, tree dimensions (stem height, circumference, and volume) were assessed. The performances of both families significantly differed within and between sites. Tree volume was significantly larger at the Italian site as compared to the French site. Genotype by environment interactions were significant but low for both families and for all growth traits. Tight correlations among the individual growth traits indicated that there may be a common genetic mechanism with pleiotropic effects on these growth traits. In line with previous studies, linkage groups I, VII, IX, X, XVI, XVII, and XIX appeared to have genomic regions with the largest effects on growth traits. This study revealed that (1) both families have high potential for selection of superior poplar hybrids due to the pronounced heterosis (hybrid vigor) and the large genetic variability in terms of growth and (2) the choice of site is crucial for poplar cultivation.


Populus Interspecific hybrids Growth Genotype by environment interaction (G × E) Heterosis Heritability Quantitative trait loci (QTL) 



This research was supported by the European Commission through the Directorate General Research within the Fifth Framework Programme for Research—Quality of Life and Management of the Living Resources Programme, contract N° QLK5-CT-2002-00953 (POPYOMICS; The authors thank Jean Gauvin and Patrick Poursat (INRA Orléans, France), Dr. Fabrizio Nardin (Alasia Vivai company, Cavallermaggiore, Italy), Dr. Maurizio Sabatti, Luca Ricciotti, and Francesco Salani (University of Viterbo, Italy) for their help with the management of field experiments and with the data collection, and Abraham Korol for useful comments on the MultiQTL software. Sophie Y. Dillen is a Research Fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (F.W.O.–Vlaanderen).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Y. Dillen
    • 1
  • Véronique Storme
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicolas Marron
    • 1
    • 4
  • Catherine Bastien
    • 5
  • Sabrina Neyrinck
    • 6
  • Marijke Steenackers
    • 6
  • Reinhart Ceulemans
    • 1
  • Wout Boerjan
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation EcologyWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Plant Systems BiologyFlanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)GentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Molecular GeneticsGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  4. 4.UMR 1137 INRA-UHP Écologie et écophysiologie forestièresChampenouxFrance
  5. 5.Unité AméliorationGénétique et Physiologie Forestières, Institut National de la Reserche AgronomiqueArdonFrance
  6. 6.Research Institute for Nature and ForestGeraardsbergenBelgium

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