Accelerated breeding for high pulp yield in E. nitens using DNA markers identified in 100 cell wall genes: The Hottest 100

Every forestry manager wants trees that will grow efficiently, make the best use of land and water resources and maximise yields. However, traditional selective breeding of trees for desired traits can take decades before commercial varieties are a reality. To breed better trees faster, this study examined genetic variations (alleles) in about 100 Eucalyptus nitens (Shining Gum) genes that may improve kraft pulp yield, cellulose and growth. Alleles were identified using points of variation in gene sequences known as single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. The study identified 11 genes that had SNPs (alleles) that significantly contributed to increased cellulose and kraft pulp yield in the three different climate regions studied. By selecting offspring from existing trees that have six of these desirable alleles a standard eucalypt pulp mill could improve profitability by over $40M per year.




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