Genetic control of growth and shoot phenology in juvenile loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) clonal trials

  • Tania Quesada
  • Liliana M. Parisi
  • Dudley A. Huber
  • Salvador A. Gezan
  • Timothy A. Martin
  • John M. Davis
  • Gary F. Peter
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Breeding


Southern pine genetic improvement programs have selected for faster early growth which has often increased yields over unimproved material, and some of this improvement is likely attributable to variation in growth phenology among genotypes. However, the genetics of shoot growth phenology traits are not well characterized. Loblolly pine cuttings and seedlings from parents originating in the Atlantic coastal plain (ACP) and Florida and grown on sites established in Palatka, FL and Cuthbert, GA were assessed for shoot phenology and growth traits during the second year and for growth in year 6. Individual-tree clonal repeatability in different growth and shoot phenology traits varied from 0.09 to 0.79 in cuttings, and was lower in Palatka than Cuthbert. Non-additive components of heritability were lower, with a few exceptions, than additive effects. Additive and genotypic correlations across sites were high (>0.6) for all traits measured in cuttings and for most seedling traits, suggesting low genotype × environment interactions between these two sites. Compared with progeny from crosses between ACP parents, progeny of Florida parents started growth earlier in the season and ended later. Strong genetic correlations were observed between second-year phenology traits and sixth-year height and diameter. This suggests some two-year traits could be useful for early selection of high-performing genotypes.


Clones Cuttings Dominance Non-additive effects Genetic correlations 



The present work was funded by the Forest Biology Research Cooperative, the Cooperative Forest Genetic Research Program, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Coordinated Agricultural Project Award #2011-68002-30185. In addition, financial support to L.M.P. was provided by the Fulbright-Bunge and Born fellowship and the National Institute of Agriculture Technology (INTA) of Argentina. The authors further acknowledge Greg Powell and Fabian Hergenreder who took the measurements during the second growth season, as well as Plum Creek Timber Company and Mead Westvaco Corporation for providing the land and general management for the study sites in Palatka and Cuthbert, respectively, and for providing the measurements from the sixth growth season. Finally, the authors would like to thank Ronald Lanner for his guidance and feedback on shoot terminology, as well as the reviewers for their suggestions to improve this manuscript.

Data archiving statement

The data is included as supplementary material in this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11295_2017_1143_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (1.9 mb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 1912 kb)
11295_2017_1143_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tania Quesada
    • 1
  • Liliana M. Parisi
    • 1
  • Dudley A. Huber
    • 1
  • Salvador A. Gezan
    • 1
  • Timothy A. Martin
    • 1
  • John M. Davis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gary F. Peter
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology ProgramUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Genetics InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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