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A comparison of genetic information from open-pollinated and control-pollinated progeny tests in two eucalypt species

Hodge, G.R., Volker, P.W., Potts, B.M., Owen, J.V.
Theoretical and applied genetics 1996 v.92 no.1 pp. 53-63
Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus globulus, tree breeding, heritability, genotype-environment interaction, open pollination, breeding value, provenance, genetic correlation, inbreeding depression, population, seed orchards
Genetic-parameter estimates and parental breeding-value predictions were compared from open-pollinated and control-pollinated progeny populations of Eucalyptus globulus and two populations of E. nitens. For E. globulus there were two types of open-pollinated populations (native stand open-pollinated and seed orchard open-pollinated) and two types of control-pollinated populations (intra-provenance and inter-provenance full-sib families). For E. nitens there were two populations, a seed orchard open-pollinated population and intra-provenance full-sib families. Progeny tests were established across multiple sites and 2-year height and diameter were measured and volume calculated. Genetic parameters from native stand open-pollinated E. globulus were unlike the parameters from the other three E. globulus populations; heritability estimates were severely inflated, presumably due to high levels, and possibly differential levels, of inbreeding depression relative to the other populations. Estimates of dominance variance in the E. globulus full-sib populations were high, but were zero in the E. nitens population. Correlations among parental breeding values, predicted using data from the different populations, were generally low and non-significant, with two exceptions: predictions from the two E. globulus full-sib populations were significantly correlated (r = 0.54, P = 0.001), as were predictions from the E. nitens seed orchard OP and full-sib population (r = 0.61, P = 0.08). There was some indication that superior parents of E. globulus native stand open-pollinated families also tended to have above-average breeding values based on the performance of intra-provenance full-sib offspring. The consequences of these results for exploitation of base-population collections from native stands are discussed.