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Estimates of genetic parameters for growth and wood properties in Eucalyptus pellita F. Muell. to support tree breeding in Vietnam

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Eucalyptus pellita demonstrated good growth and wood quality traits in this study, with young plantation grown timber being suitable for both solid and pulp wood products. All traits examined were under moderate levels of genetic control with little genotype by environment interaction when grown on two contrasting sites in Vietnam.


Eucalyptus pellita currently has a significant role in reforestation in the tropics. Research to support expanded of use of this species is needed: particularly, research to better understand the genetic control of key traits will facilitate the development of genetically improved planting stock.


This study aimed to provide estimates of the heritability of diameter at breast height over bark, wood basic density, Kraft pulp yield, modulus of elasticity and microfibril angle, and the genetic correlations among these traits, and understand the importance of genotype by environment interactions in Vietnam.


Data for diameter and wood properties were collected from two 10-year-old, open-pollinated progeny trials of E. pellita in Vietnam that evaluated 104 families from six native range and three orchard sources. Wood properties were estimated from wood samples using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. Data were analysed using mixed linear models to estimate genetic parameters (heritability, proportion of variance between seed sources and genetic correlations).


Variation among the nine sources was small compared to additive variance. Narrow-sense heritability and genetic correlation estimates indicated that simultaneous improvements in most traits could be achieved from selection among and within families as the genetic correlations among traits were either favourable or close to zero. Type B genetic correlations approached one for all traits suggesting that genotype by environment interactions were of little importance. These results support a breeding strategy utilizing a single breeding population advanced by selecting the best individuals across all seed sources.


Both growth and wood properties have been evaluated. Multi-trait selection for growth and wood property traits will lead to more productive populations of E. pellita both with improved productivity and improved timber and pulp properties.

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We would like to thank Mr Paul MacDonell and Mr Nguyen Van Chinh for their help with data and wood sample collection. Particular thanks to Dr. Katherine Raymont who provided instruction for scanning wood samples through an NIR instrument. We wish to thank the Institute of Forest Tree Improvement and Biotechnology (Vietnamese Academy of Forest Science), where the trials were undertaken, and collaborators for management and data collection.


This study was financially supported by the University of Queensland, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia) and Ministry of Education and Training (Vietnam)

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Correspondence to Tran D. Hung.

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Handling Editor: Jean-Michel Leban

Contributions by co-authors

Tran Duy Hung: conception and design of project (50 %), statistical analysis (80 %), wrote the paper (60 %).

Jeremy Brawner, Mark Dieters: conception and design of project (50 %), statistical analysis (20 %), wrote and edited paper (20 %).

Roger Meder, David Lee, Simon Southerton, Ha Huy Thinh: wrote and edited paper (20 %).

Appendix 1

Appendix 1

Table 7 The calibration statistics for the near infrared (NIR) calibration models used in the prediction of pulp yield, density, modulus of elasticity and microfibril angle

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Hung, T.D., Brawner, J.T., Meder, R. et al. Estimates of genetic parameters for growth and wood properties in Eucalyptus pellita F. Muell. to support tree breeding in Vietnam. Annals of Forest Science 72, 205–217 (2015).

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