Genetic improvement of sawn-board shape stability in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)
Fundova I, Hallingback HR, Jansson G, Wu HX

Adequate shape stability is a prerequisite for utilization of sawn boards in the building industry. This study investigated the possibility of indirect genetic improvement of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sawn-board shape stability (specifically the bow, crook and twist) via selective breeding based on traits that can be non-destructively measured on standing trees. Relationships between shape stability and wood quality traits measured on logs and sawn boards were also determined. A total of 1896 standing trees from a 39-year-old Scots pine full-sib progeny test were non-destructively measured. A subset of 496 trees was harvested and sawn into 50 x 100 mm boards, the quality of which was assessed both non-destructively and destructively. Among the traits assessed on standing trees, grain angle (GRA) appeared to be the best predictor of sawn-board twisting and crooking (r(A) = 0.84 and 0.62, respectively). The individual-tree narrow-sense heritability (h(i)(2)) was moderate for twist and GRA (0.37 and 0.40, respectively), low for bow (0.21) and very low for crook (0.05). Selective breeding targeting lower GRA would result in lower twist and crook but could also increase sawn-board density, stiffness and strength.

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