High negative genetic correlations between growth traits and wood properties suggest incorporating multiple traits selection including economic weights for the future Scots pine breeding programs
ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE, 2014, 71(4):463-472
Hong Z, Fries A, Wu HX

Abstract
Context
The development of multiple trait selection indices for solid (structure) wood production in the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) breeding program requires genetic variances and covariances estimated among wood quality traits including stiffness.

Aims

Genetic control and relationships among Scots pine growth, fiber, and wood quality traits were assessed by estimating heritability, phenotypic and genetic correlation using a Scots pine full-sib family trial.

Method

Wood quality traits including clearwood and dynamic acoustic stiffness were measured using SilviScan and Hitman in a 40-year-old progeny trial and by sampling increment cores of 778 trees of 120 families. Genetic parameters were estimated using the mixed model by the ASReml software.

Results
Heritability ranged from 0.147 to 0.306 for growth, earlywood, transition wood and latewood proportion traits and from 0.260 to 0.524 for fiber dimension, wood density, MFA and stiffness traits. The highly unfavorable genetic correlation between diameter and whole core density (−0.479) and clearwood stiffness (−0.506) and dynamic acoustic stiffness (−0.382) was observed in this study.

Conclusion
The unfavorable genetic correlations between growth traits and stiffness indicate that multiple traits selection using optimal economic weights and optimal breeding strategies are recommended for the advanced Scots pine breeding program.

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