Multiple lines of evidence suggest acoustic wave velocity (AWV) would provide a rapid and efficient method to indirectly select for superior pulp yield in Eucalyptus globulus breeding programs.
Eucalyptus globulus is one of the most widely planted hardwood species in temperate regions of the world and is primarily grown for pulpwood.
To determine if acoustic wave velocity (AWV) can be used to indirectly select for kraft pulp yield in E. globulus.
Genetic group effects, additive and non-additive variance components, and genetic correlations were estimated for AWV and pulpwood traits, including Kraft pulp yield. In a separate trial, the relative position of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for these traits was compared.
Estimated narrow-sense heritabilities for AWV and pulp yield were both 0.26, and these traits were strongly genetically correlated (0.84). Furthermore, co-located QTL for these traits were identified. Further evidence that AWV could be used to indirectly select for pulp yield was provided by the ranking of genetic groups—Otways and King Island had the highest AWV and pulp yield and Strzelecki and Tasmania the lowest. There was no evidence of dominance variation in wood property traits.
Together, these findings suggest that AWV could be used as a selection criterion for kraft pulp yield in E. globulus breeding programs.
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Hamilton MG, Freeman JS, Blackburn DP, Downes GM, Pilbeam DJ, Potts BM (2017) Independent lines of evidence of a genetic relationship between acoustic wave velocity and kraft pulp yield in Eucalyptus globulus Ann For Sci 74: 17 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-017-0617-2