Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 4:193 | Cite as

Gain and diversity in advanced generation coastal Douglas-fir selections for seed production populations

  • Michael StoehrEmail author
  • Alvin Yanchuk
  • Chang-Yi Xie
  • Leopoldo Sanchez
Original Paper


Sublines are used in the third-generation breeding and testing of coastal Douglas-fir in British Columbia, with the original intent of selecting only one genotype per subline for production populations (e.g., seed orchards) to eliminate relatedness among parents (therein called “1/SL”). We evaluated three additional selection scenarios that did not consider the subline structure. One of the scenarios strictly selected on the basis of the highest breeding values of the trees (“TOP”); another scenario used the TOP selections, but assigned the number of ramets per selection proportionally to the selection breeding value (“LIND”); lastly, a simulated annealing technique was applied to maximize gain under explicit constraints on coancestry (“OPTS”). All three alternative selection scenarios resulted in some relatedness and coancestry among selections, but the last two provided increases in average breeding values compared to those obtained by the 1/SL scenario. Effective population sizes (and consequently inbreeding coefficients) varied among the three selection scenarios. Effects of the various selections on merchantable volume at rotation age were determined using a linear regression model based on an individual tree model (TASS), which was first run to determine the relationship between merchantable volume and inbreeding (f). LIND and TOP selections yielded the highest breeding values but, due to the increased coancestry among selections, paid a penalty in the merchantable volume determination. OPTS maximized merchantable volume at rotation age 60 after including more than 13 selections with an increase of around 3% over that obtained by the 1/SL selection scenario, with an associated increase in Ne of 50%. Other implications of the three alternative selection scenarios are discussed.


Effective population size Seed orchard Breeding value 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stoehr
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alvin Yanchuk
    • 1
  • Chang-Yi Xie
    • 1
  • Leopoldo Sanchez
    • 2
  1. 1.Research BranchBritish Columbia Ministry of Forests and RangeVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.INRA-OrléansUnité d’Amélioration Génétique et Physiologie des Arbres ForestiersOlivet CedexFrance

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