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Selection perspectives for genetic improvement of wood stiffness in hybrid larch (Larix x eurolepis Henry)

Abstract : Genetic variability of modulus of elasticity (MOE) was investigated in three genetic trials, including two progeny (16 years old) and one clonal (19 years old) trials of hybrid larch (Larix x eurolepis Henry). MOE was directly assessed on standing trees using the Rigidimeter, a bending device, and related to other traits including height, BH diameter and wood density. Mean MOE ranged from 5,183 to 9,228 MPa among families in the progeny trials and from 4,591 to 11,486 MPa in the clonal trial. Among traits studied, MOE was one of the most variable traits. It was strongly and positively related to wood density at both the individual and genotype mean levels. Interestingly too, wood stiffness did not seem, or only weakly, unfavourably linked to stem diameter at the phenotypical level, but it was negatively or not correlated to diameter at the genetic level. As well, MOE showed a high GxE stability over the two progeny trial sites. Narrow-sense heritabilities for MOE were moderate (around 0.36). In all three trials, they were lower than those for wood density or total height, and of the same level as for diameter. Improvement of wood stiffness of hybrid larch using the Rigidimeter seems possible and promising genetic gains are expected. Impacts of selection for growth traits on MOE are also discussed.
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Luc Pâques, Frédéric Millier, Philippe Rozenberg. Selection perspectives for genetic improvement of wood stiffness in hybrid larch (Larix x eurolepis Henry). Tree Genetics and Genomes, Springer Verlag, 2010, 6 (1), pp.83-92. ⟨10.1007/s11295-009-0230-0⟩. ⟨hal-02663038⟩

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