Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 203–212 | Cite as

Inbreeding depression in intra-provenance crosses driven by founder relatedness in white spruce

  • T. K. Doerksen
  • J. Bousquet
  • J. Beaulieu
Original Paper


Genetic means for height growth differed between intra- and inter-provenance crosses, which we hypothesized was due partly to unidentified relatedness among intra-provenance base parents resulting in mild inbreeding and inbreeding depression among their offspring. A dense array of 5,844 single nucleotide polymorphisms was used to directly construct a genomic relationship matrix (G) that had four elements ranging from 0.17 to 0.24, between five intra-provenance base parents. Adjusting the numerator relationship matrix for this relatedness among base parents produced inbreeding coefficients of F i ≈ 0.1 in their offspring, which displayed depressed height growth. Accounting for inbreeding level as a covariate in a mixed model decreased grossly overestimated (up to 2 ×) dominance variance in models without the covariate adjustment. Height growth decreased 39 cm (∼ 6 %) for every 0.1 increase in F i .


Inbreeding Inbreeding depression Relatedness Dominance Genomic relationship matrix 



We thank D. Plourde and É. Dussault for site maintenance and data collection; S. Blais and F. Gagnon (U. Laval) for managing the genotype data; and K. Gardner, S. Carles, P. Cheers, and the anonymous reviewers for comments on previous versions of the manuscript. This work was made possible by funding from the Natural Resources Canada Genomics R&D Initiative and the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre to JBe and from Genome Québec and Genome Canada to JBo.

Data archiving statement

Data available from the Dryad Digital Repository:


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest ServiceCanadian Wood Fibre CentreQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Canada Research Chair in Forest and Environmental Genomics, Institute for Systems and Integrative BiologyUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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