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Genetic stability of wood density and diameter in Pinus radiata D. Don plantation estate across Australia

Abstract

Genetic variation for wood quality traits and diameter growth for radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) at age 20/21 years was estimated from eight trials in Australia. The traits studied were wood density, acoustic time-of-flight (an indirect measure of stiffness) and diameter at breast height (DBH). Wood density and DBH exhibited significant additive genetic variation whereas non-additive effects were not significantly different from zero. Time of flight was also not significantly different from zero for both additive and non-additive effects, respectively. Average single-site heritability estimates (±SE) for wood density and DBH were 0.38 ± 0.10 and 0.16 ± 0.08, respectively. Pooled-site heritability estimates for wood density and DBH were 0.38 ± 0.10 and 0.08 ± 0.10, respectively. For density, there was little evidence of genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI) across the eight trials at the additive level (type B additive genetic correlation; r BADD = 0.73 ± 0.08) and type B genetic correlation for full-sib families (r BFS = 0.64 ± 0.08). In contrast, the type B additive genetic correlation for DBH was lower, (r BADD = 0.51 ± 0.14), suggesting evidence of GEI. However, type B genetic correlation for full-sib families was moderate (0.63 ± 0.11) for DBH, suggesting that there may be some stable full-sib families. On the basis of the results of this study, GEI should be considered in order to optimise deployment of improved germplasm in Australia.

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Acknowledgements

In addition to the acknowledgements given in Wu and Matheson (2005) for the crossing, planting and maintenance of the Australia-Wide diallels, we wish to thank FWPA, STBA, Forestry NSW, Forest Products Commission, WA and CSIRO for funding the project. Special thanks to David Spencer for the excellent field work planning and coordination. We also thank Drs. Chris Harwood and Gregory Rebetzke for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript and external reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Washington J. Gapare.

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Gapare, W.J., Ivković, M., Baltunis, B.S. et al. Genetic stability of wood density and diameter in Pinus radiata D. Don plantation estate across Australia. Tree Genetics & Genomes 6, 113–125 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-009-0233-x

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Keywords

  • Pinus radiata
  • Additive genetic variance
  • Full sibs
  • Genetic correlation
  • Genotype-by-environment interaction