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The genetic structure of 14 populations from three ash provenance regions (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in southern Germany (Aid Infodienst, 2003) is described by analysing the variation of four nuclear and five cpDNA microsatellites. The study of the nuclear microsatellites revealed high levels of genetic diversity but low levels of genetic differentiation, suggesting a high degree of gene flow among regions and/or human interference by introducing plant material coming from different provenances. The distributions of the allele frequencies and the genetic structures at these four microsatellite loci did not allow the identification of distinct provenance regions, although “private alleles” were encountered with moderate to low frequencies (above 5 percent). Specifically, the Rhine valley populations (provenance region 81105) and these from the Swabian Jura and Black Forest (provenance region 81107) revealed private alleles at the two microsatellite loci Femsatl4 and Femsatl12. A more distinct differentiation between provenances was found based on the cpDNA markers. Evidence on genetic delineation and characterization of ash provenances is discussed. Based on these results, provenance regions can be genetically characterised but further analysis of ash populations and of reproductive material (seeds or seedlings) would be of great importance for provenance delineation, as well as gene conservation and sustainable management of ash populations.
The genotypic and phenotypic correlation and path analysis of plant biomass, plant height, stem diameter and other biomass component traits were analyzed in thirty provenances of Bombax ceiba. In general, the magnitude of genotypic correlations was higher than phenotypic correlations. Stem diameter and plant biomass showed highly significant genotypic correlations with all the traits except the number of secondary branches and plant biomass with leaf biomass. Plant height had the highest positive direct effect on plant biomass followed by the number of primary branches/plant and the number of leaves/plant. On the basis of this study, a higher plant biomass would be achieved through direct selection based on plant height, the number of primary branches and the number of leaves/plant. Therefore, the study is important in selection of traits of economic importance based on other characters, whose direct effect is not visible.
Miguel Luiz Menezes Freitas, A. L. Coleto, W. Santos, M. A. Moraes, J. Cambuim, S. S. Nascimento, J. Ferracini, E. L. Longui and M. L. T. Moraes
The aim of this study was to determine the genetic variation of growth traits, wood basic density, dry mass of crown, leaf, and stem, and carbon stock within and between two Genipa americana L. provenances. The provenance and progeny test was installed in the Teaching, Research and Extension Farm, located in Selvíria, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The test was established using a randomized block design with two provenances and 36 progenies, a spacing of 3 x 2 m, four replicates, and six plants per plot. At 11 years of age, height and diameter at breast height (DBH) were measured. To estimate wood basic density, biomass, and carbon stock, 45 plants were thinned. Growth traits for crown, leaf, and stem, as well as wood basic specific gravity showed significant differences. Both provenances present high carbon storage, demonstrating the potential of this species to be included in carbon credit programs that help to minimize the effects of global warming. In general, heritability values were low, suggesting limited genetic control of the evaluated traits. However, the traits presented a high coefficient of genetic variation, indicating adequate sampling among populations; these results are promising for ex situ conservation and for future breeding programs.
Based on the optimal partitioning theory, the comparative assessment of seedling allometry is a common task in retrospective genetic tests and early testing of forest reproductive material. Our hypothesis was that root restriction imposed by the container might hinder or rule out genetic differences in biomass allocation. We grew seedlings of two contrasted provenances of Canary Islands pine in mini-rhizotrons, 60 and 90 cm deep, and alternatively in standard bottom-open 200 cc forest containers. In the mini-rhizotrons, plants from the drier provenance allocated more biomass to roots, especially to the tap root and invested less in needles, both in a biomass and leaf area basis, and this morphological divergence increased between two harvests, undertaken at 57 and 115 days after planting. By contrast, confirming our hypothesis, at the 115 days harvest, the plants grown in standard containers did not exhibited significant differences between provenances for Leaf Mass Fraction, Root Mass Fraction and Leaf Area Ratio. We conclude that the physical constraint for root development imposed by small containers increases the probability of dismissing the genetic effect in biomass allocation when assessing forest reproductive materials at the short term, even when the whole plant growth (total dry weight) might be unaffected.