Genetic Variability and Early Growth Performance of Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. in Provenance cum Progeny Trials in India

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Results of provenance cum progeny trials of Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. laid out in 2002 at three sites viz. FRI Campus (Uttaranchal), Chiryanpur (Uttaranchal) and Midnapore (West Bengal) located in tropical region of India are reported and discussed. Thirteen provenances representing 91 families from Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) viz. Oro bay to Emo, PNG; Sirinumu Sogeri Plat, PNG; Warwick, QLD; Yurammie, SF, NSW; Buckenbowra SF, NSW; Selection flat SF559, NSW; Credition SF, QLD; Cardwell, QLD; Mitchell River MT Molloy, QLD; Mill stream archer creek, QLD; Helenvale, QLD; Walsh River, QLD; Burdekin River, QLD were evaluated from nursery stage to field performance (age 21months). As a local seed source open-pollinated seeds collected from selected interspecific Eucalyptus F1 hybrid trees of FRI-4, FRI-5 and Mysore gum (Eucalyptus teretirornis) were used to serve as check material (control). Significant differences between the provenances and families at age 21 months were observed for height, clean stem length, collar diameter and field survival. Significant provenance x site interaction was observed for height. In general the north Queensland provenances performed better and in particular two provenances viz. Walsh River, QLD and Burdekin River, QLD ranked the best in comparison to others at this age. Results indicate that significant genetic differences exist between the families and provenances of E. tereticornis. The growth traits were inter-correlated with each other. Geographic clinal variation pattern was observed in some of the growth traits viz. height, clean stem height and collar diameter. There were fair differences between phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variability. Heritability (narrow sense) values were fairly good for height and clear stem length in comparison to collar diameter. The relative performance of the provenances was fairly consistent throughout test sites.

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