Breeding Strategy

  • C. J. A. Shelbourne


The evolution of the radiata pine breeding strategy with very intensive selection was ongoing from 1952. In 1968, a new kind of selection of 600 trees was done in 12–17-year-old stands, at a much-reduced rate. OP progenies were planted to select the best parents ‘backwards’ for a future 1.5 generation orchard. This was the start of an existential fight between ‘backwards’ and ‘forwards’ selection. ‘Forwards’ selections from the better families were control-mated, but the resulting CP families were used only to identify their best parents. Breeders did not think in terms of forwards selection for the future breeding population. The genetic variance in the BP is reduced by BS, but not by within-family forwards selection. In the Development Plan of 1986, there was a realisation that within-family selection was valuable and that clonal selection of trees within the family would give high gain, but cloning seedlings was not yet operational. In spite of the Development Plan, there was a strong tendency to use backwards selection for creating breeding population crosses. The RPBC took over these trials in 2000, and responsibility for the radiata breeding population. The late Paul Jefferson fully understood the importance of backwards selection for seed orchards and forwards selection with cloning for the breeding population.


Radiata breeding Rosvall Cloning Backwards-forwards 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. A. Shelbourne
    • 1
  1. 1.RotoruaNew Zealand

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