Design of Ex Situ Gene Conservation Plantations to Minimize Inbreeding in Radiata Pine
Washington Gapare - 2010
Radiata pine has become one of the most important commercial tree species in the world and is currently the most extensively planted conifer species in Australia and New Zealand.
The radiata pine domestication process of selection and breeding has occurred almost entirely in regions far removed from its native forests in California and Mexico. The wood of this species is remarkably versatile and is used for both structural and appearance-grade wood products, and for pulp. The conservation of radiata pine germplasm has become an important component of long-term forest management for its sustained productivity and profitability. Potential gene conservation benefits include disease and insect damage alleviation, an increase in volume, improved wood stiffness and extending the current suitable plantation area by breeding for drought tolerance.
Maintaining such resources to serve their intended purpose needs to be made as efficient and cost effective as possible. This depends on measures of the underlying genetic diversity of traits of interest.