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Genetic control of eighth year traits in Pinus patula Schiede and Deppe

Genetic control of eighth year traits in Pinus patula Schiede and Deppe

Silvae Genetica 41(6): 318-326

Polycross, factorial and diallel mating designs were used in the genetic improvement program for Pinus patula SCHIEDE and DEPPE in Zimbabwe. Their function was to elucidate structure and control in economically-important traits, to investigate genotype-environment interaction, to identify the best general combiners and to provide information on the efficiency of mating and experimental designs. Productivity, stem form and wood density traits were measured in the eighth year from planting in the field. Analysis of the data indicated that all traits were principally under multigenic control with dominance, maternal and reciprocal effects of no practical significance. Heritabilities were highest for wood density (up to 0.82 on a family basis) but also high for stem volume (up to 0.63) and stem straightness (up to 0.69). Genotype-locality interaction was of practical significance for stem volume but was absent for wood density; it was intermediate for stem straightness. There was no genotype-year interaction for any trait. Selective thinning did not bias the estimates of genetic parameters when compared with systematic thinnings for any trait. Sub-blocking made little difference to the ranking of families but for some traits in some localities experiments could have been reduced in size by over 30% and achieved the same precision of ranking. The assumptions of half-sib relationship in polycross families was shown to be valid in that it ranked parents in almost the same order as the factoral test. There were no adverse genetic correlations of any consequence. Wood density appeared to vary independently of stem volume. Strong and usable juvenile-mature correlations were apparent even between nursery and eighth-year traits. Large seedlings with few long cotyledons in the nursery grew into large trees with high wood density and families with few branches and superior height in the second year developed into trees with high wood density and large volume by the eighth year.

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