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The genetic variation in the timing of heteroblastic transition in Eucalyptus globulus is stable across environments

Hamilton, MG, Tilyard, P, Williams, DR, Vaillancourt, RE, Wardlaw, T and Potts, BM 2011 , 'The genetic variation in the timing of heteroblastic transition in Eucalyptus globulus is stable across environments' , Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 59, no. 2 , pp. 170-175 , doi:

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Eucalyptus globulus is one of the best known examples of a heteroblastic plant. It exhibits a dramatic phase change from distinctive juvenile to adult leaves, but the timing of this transition varies markedly. We examined the genetic variation in the timing of heteroblastic transition using five large open-pollinated progeny trials established in north-western Tasmania. We used univariate and multi-variate mixed models to analyse data on the presence/absence of adult or intermediate foliage at age 2 years from a total of 14 860 trees across five trials, as well as height to heteroblastic phase change from one trial. Up to 566 families and 15 geographic subraces of E. globulus were represented in the trials. The timing of the heteroblastic transition was genetically variable and under strong genetic control at the subrace and within-subrace level, with single-trial narrow-sense heritability estimates for the binary trait averaging 0.50 (range 0.44–0.65). The degree of quantitative trait ifferentiation in the timing of heteroblastic transition among subraces, as measured by QST, exceeded the published level of neutral molecular marker (FST) differentiation in all cases, arguing that diversifying selection has contributed to shaping broad-scale patterns of genetic differentiation. Most inter-trial genetic correlations were close to one at the subrace and additive genetic levels, indicating that the genetic variation in this important developmental change is expressed in a stable manner and that genotype-by-environment interaction is minimal across the environments studied.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hamilton, MG and Tilyard, P and Williams, DR and Vaillancourt, RE and Wardlaw, T and Potts, BM
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
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