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Interspecific hybridization of Eucalyptus: key issues for breeders and geneticists


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Potts, BM and Dungey, HS (2004) Interspecific hybridization of Eucalyptus: key issues for breeders and geneticists. New Forests, 27 (2). pp. 115-138. ISSN 0169-4286

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Eucalypt hybrids are significant in forestry, particularly in sub-tropic and tropical regions, where cost efficient, clonal propagation is the key to their exploitation. However, the outstanding success of selected hybrid clones has given a biased impression of the vigor of eucalypt hybrids and the strength of reproductive barriers in the genus. When full account is made of losses through the life cycle, a picture of high incompatibility and inviability often emerges. Hybrid inviability tends to increase with increasing taxonomic distance between parents, but there are exceptions. Hybrids also seem more susceptible to pests than their pure species. Intense selection may still result in elite hybrid clones, but such inviability and susceptibility adds a significant cost to their development. Breeders must carefully evaluate the costs of hybrid development and deployment compared with pure species options. A key to hybrid selection is the rapid development and testing of large populations and application of high selection intensities. However, eventually this approach must be linked with more formal breeding strategies. As most traits are intermediate in F hybrids there is increasing interest in 1 advanced generation hybrids to provide desirable trait combinations. In such cases, there is a clear role for marker assisted selection to speed introgression.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Breeding strategy, Genetics, Heterosis, Hybrid inviability, Hybrids, Incompatibility, Seed production
Journal or Publication Title: New Forests
Page Range: pp. 115-138
ISSN: 0169-4286
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1023/A:1025021324564
Additional Information: BM Potts. The original publication is available at
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2008 00:52
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2008 00:52
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