Genetic parameters and comparison between native and local landraces of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. ssp. globulus growing in the central highlands of Colombia
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The objective of this study was to compare the merit of the Colombian landrace relative to the various Australian native races of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. ssp. globulus and study the genetic control of key traits such as growth, wood density, and leaf phase change in the unique conditions of the Colombian highlands.
The genetic study was based on open-pollinated families from native Australian and Colombian landrace origin, tested across four trials spanning two generations of breeding. A multisite mixed linear model with genetic groups was fitted to the data to estimate race merit and the variance and covariances between traits, ages, and sites.
Race effects for growth were small and only significant at the older site. In contrast, races differ significantly for height to phase change and density. The Colombian landrace and South and NE Tasmania races changed leaf type at a higher tree height. King Island and Recherche Bay had low density values, whereas the Colombian landrace had the highest. Heritability was moderate for growth traits (between 0.09 and 0.40), high for height to phase change (between 0.42 and 0.69), and moderate for wood density (0.28). The genetic correlation between growth and height to phase change was in general positive, but variable across sites. There was no correlation between growth and density. Despite large differences in growth between trials, pairwise genetic correlations suggest that genotype-by-site interaction is negligible. However, there was a poor correspondence between first-generation (ex-native stands) and second-generation families (ex-multi-provenance progeny trial). This suggests that breeding value estimates based on native open-pollinated material are unreliable.
Results confirm negligible race differences for growth, but not for wood density. Future breeding efforts should include the various genetic backgrounds including the Colombian landrace which constitutes a very important source, especially because of its high density. Despite a low Genotype by Environment interaction, the poor genetic correspondence between the first- and second-generation trials indicates that selections for growth should be based on information coming mainly from the advanced-generation trials.
KeywordsEucalyptus Race effects Heritability Genetic correlations GE interaction Growth Wood density Heteroblasty
The establishment and maintenance of the second-generation trials has been a joint effort between Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia S. A. (SKCC), Reforestadora El Guásimo, Reforestadora del Caribe S. A. S, Corporación Nacional de Investigación y Fomento Forestal—CONIF, Universidad Distrital “Francisco José de Caldas”. The project has been partially financed by the Ministério de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural (contract no. 348/2006, agreement no. 002/2006 alliance IICA-MADR) and Colciencias. We would also like to thank Hugo España (SKCC) and colleagues and to all the forestry students who, under the leadership of Professor Jairo Silva, have been responsible for maintaining and measuring the La Florida site over the years.
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