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Additive and non-additive genetic parameters for multipurpose traits in a clonally replicated incomplete factorial test of Castanea spp.

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Second-year traits of growth, stem form, terminal flushing, and survival were assessed in 1770 ramets from 295 clones of 16 full-sib families of Castanea spp. Additive, dominance, and epistatic genetic variances were estimated in a clonally replicated incomplete 5 × 4 factorial test. Parents of the mating design were selected mainly on their phenotypes for wood quality (Castanea sativa traditional varieties) and their proven resistance to Phytophthora spp. (Asiatic species and Castanea crenata × C. sativa hybrids). Additive genetic variances were estimated to be 1.7–9 times greater than the dominance components. Inferred epistatic variance components showed a significant role in controlling growth traits and branch length. Narrow- and broad-sense heritability estimates showed that terminal flushing date was the most heritable trait, followed by height. The high estimates of half-sib, full-sib, and clonal mean heritabilities for almost all traits suggest that different strategies of backwards and forwards selection could be proposed. The ranking of the breeding values of parents allow us to select the best parents for new crosses and extend the mating design. Favorable genetic correlations were found between growth traits and straightness, so multi-trait selection looks promising. Our results provide the first information on the partitioning of genetic variance in Castanea spp. and a starting point for devising new selection strategies.

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This study was supported by the project “Conservation and breeding of chestnut (2013–2015),” funded by the sub-measure 323.2.3 of the Plan “Conservation and improvement of natural heritage, convergence region” from European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It is part of the Ph. D thesis which is being developed by the first author of this article. The authors thank Gabriel Toval for the development of the initial Breeding Program “Innovation and Forest Breeding Plan of Galicia” in 2010 and José María Mendaña for his help in the organization of the greenhouse. Finally, we are really grateful to Dr. Rowland Burdon for his helpful comments and suggestions for editing the manuscript.

Data archiving statement

Database of 1770 ramets from 290 clones of 16 full-sib families with phenotypic measurements for the nine adaptive traits considered in this study were submitted to the Database of Genetic Resources of Forest Research Centre Lourizán.

Author information

Correspondence to J. Fernández-López.

Additional information

Communicated by R. Burdon

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary Fig. 1

Average values of each family, each individual within a family and the total population for terminal flushing and height. Values for the control clone H2522 were included. See the main text for details about each term (GIF 579 kb)

(GIF 624 kb)

Supplementary Table 1

(DOCX 27 kb)

High resolution image (TIF 73560 kb)

High resolution image (TIF 74253 kb)

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Míguez-Soto, B., López-Villamor, A. & Fernández-López, J. Additive and non-additive genetic parameters for multipurpose traits in a clonally replicated incomplete factorial test of Castanea spp.. Tree Genetics & Genomes 12, 47 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-016-1004-0

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  • Castanea spp.
  • Additive variance
  • Non-additive variance
  • Clonal testing
  • “C” effects