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Title: Early genetic testing of coastal Douglas-fir for Swiss needle cast tolerance.

Author: Temel, Fatih; Johnson, G.R.; Adams, W.T.;

Date: 2005

Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35: 521-529

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The possibility of early testing coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) for Swiss needle cast (SNC; caused by Phaeocryptopus gaeumannii (Rohde) Petrak) tolerance was investigated using 55 Douglas-fir families from western Oregon. Seedlings were inoculated with P. gaeumannii naturally in the field and were visually scored for a variety of SNC symptom traits (i.e., needle and foliage color, and retention) at the seedling stage (age 2) and in "mature" (ages 10 and 12) trees at two test sites for both the seedling and mature ages. Seedlings were also assessed in the laboratory for SNC symptom traits, for proportion of needle stomata occluded with pseudothecia (PSOP), and for amount of P. gaeumannii DNA in needles. Although families differed significantly at both ages for all SNC symptom traits and for PSOP, they did not differ for amount of fungal DNA. Thus, genetic variation in SNC symptoms appears to be primarily due to differences in tolerance to the disease rather than to resistance to infection per se. Estimated individual-tree heritabilities for SNC symptom traits were low to moderate (mean hi2 = 0.19, range 0.06-0.37) at both ages, and within each age-class these traits were moderately to strongly genetically correlated (mean rA = 0.69, range 0.42-0.95). Type B genetic correlation between SNC symptom traits in seedlings and mature trees ranged from 0 to 0.83 and were weakest for traits measured in the laboratory. Genetic gain estimates indicated that family selection for SNC tolerance (i.e., greener needles or greater foliage retention) at the seedling stage can be very effective in increasing tolerance in older trees.

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Temel, Fatih; Johnson, G.R.; Adams, W.T. 2005. Early genetic testing of coastal Douglas-fir for Swiss needle cast tolerance. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35: 521-529


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