Traditional Breeding, Genomics-Assisted Breeding, and Biotechnological Modification of Forest Trees and Short Rotation Woody Crops

  • Joshua R. Herr
  • John E. Carlson


The use of woody biomass for biofuels is being pursued with both targeted harvests from natural forests and growth of Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWCs) in plantations. Both native and exotic tree species can contribute to energy feedstocks, as managed, unmanaged, or native forests. However, although standing woody biomass may in total be considered sufficient to meet projected demands for energy in certain Northern regions, increases in productivity are often still required for woody biomass to become an economically and ecologically sustainable source of energy. Traditional plant breeding has been very successful in improving growth, tree volume, and various wood quality traits for the lumber and paper industries (Harfouche et al. 2012) for forest trees and for SRWCs. The rate of progress in tree breeding is limited by the long breeding cycle times of most tree species, however. Biotechnological approaches have great potential to augment and help advance tree improvement programs, through early, indirect selection of improved genotypes, propagation through tissue culture, or genetic engineering of traits such as flowering time or wood quality.


Genetic Engineering Forest Tree Corn Stover Genomic Selection Cellulosic Ethanol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, The Schatz Center for Tree GeneticsPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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