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Can wood density be efficiently selected at early stage in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.)?

Abstract : Growth and stem straightness are the two main selection criteria in the French maritime pine breeding programme. In this contribution, our objective was to study the possibility of selecting for wood density assessed at an early stage. We measured X-ray wood density, in three progeny tests, on more than 1 900 breast high increment cores. High relative expected genetic gain (from 3 to 9%) was found for wood density at mature stage. Juvenile and adult wood density estimations were well-correlated; the relative efficiency of early selection reached about 80% at 12 years old. As it would not be realistic to use the X-ray densitometer at an operational scale in a breeding programme, we tested the efficiency of using the Resistograph, an indirect method to assess wood density on live trees. High correlation between the Resistograph and density data (R2 = 0.93 on familial data) was found, suggesting that wood density through Resistograph assessment could be soon integrated as a new selection criterion in our breeding programme.
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Laurent Bouffier, Céline Charlot, Annie Raffin, Philippe Rozenberg, Antoine Kremer. Can wood density be efficiently selected at early stage in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.)?. Annals of Forest Science, Springer Nature (since 2011)/EDP Science (until 2010), 2008, 65 (1), pp.106. ⟨10.1051/forest:2007078⟩. ⟨hal-02666963⟩

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