Genetic Variation among Somatic Embryo Clones of Nordmann Fir Grown as Christmas Trees

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Somatic embryogenesis (SE) cloning techniques for Nordmann fir Christmas tree production have been pursued and refined in Denmark, and three SE clonal trials with 201 SE clones from seeds of 27 Nordmann fir trees and seedlings from bulk harvest seeds in Georgia, Caucasus, were established from 2014 to 2015. This study was the first to evaluate the genetic performance of these SE clones in different sites. In addition, the performance of SE clones and (zygotic) normal seedlings in the field was compared in this study. This study was based on three key groups of traits for Christmas tree production, measured 5 and 6 years after planting: growth, commercial tree quality, and disorder. Seedlings grew faster and had better Christmas tree quality than SE clones. There were significant family effects for all traits, indicating that a good family also produced good clones on average. Growth and disorder traits were under moderate genetic control, with estimated broad-sense heritability (H-2) from 0.19 to 0.31 and from 0.20 to 0.28, respectively. Quality traits had low to moderate H-2, ranging from 0.09 to 0.24. Significant genotype-by-environment interactions were shown for Christmas tree quality, post-harvest needle retention, and branch angle, suggesting the importance of choosing the right clone at each site. There was no significant interaction in height among the years. Superior clones, compared to the unbred seed source, were identified by combining several important traits. Overall, the somatic clones were well established but had slower growth compared to standard seedlings.
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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