Open Access Repository

Genetic variation in the chemical components of Eucalyptus globulus wood


Downloads per month over past year

Stackpole, DJ, Vaillancourt, RE, Alves, A, Rodrigues, J and Potts, BM 2011 , 'Genetic variation in the chemical components of Eucalyptus globulus wood' , G3, vol. 1 , pp. 151-159 , doi: 10.1534/g3.111.000372.

Stackpole_et_al...pdf | Download (788kB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Despite the ecological and economic importance of lignin and other wood chemical
components, there are few studies of the natural genetic variation that exists within plant species and its
adaptive significance. We used models developed from near infra-red spectroscopy to study natural genetic
variation in lignin content and monomer composition (syringyl-to-guaiacyl ratio [S/G]) as well as cellulose
and extractives content, using a 16-year-old field trial of an Australian tree species, Eucalyptus globulus. We
sampled 2163 progenies of 467 native trees from throughout the native geographic range of the species.
The narrow-sense heritability of wood chemical traits (0.25–0.44) was higher than that of growth (0.15), but
less than wood density (0.51). All wood chemical traits exhibited significant broad-scale genetic differentiation
(QST = 0.34–0.43) across the species range. This differentiation exceeded that detected with putatively
neutral microsatellite markers (FST = 0.09), arguing that diversifying selection has shaped population
differentiation in wood chemistry. There were significant genetic correlations among these wood chemical
traits at the population and additive genetic levels. However, population differentiation in the S/G ratio of
lignin in particular was positively correlated with latitude (R2 = 76%), which may be driven by either
adaptation to climate or associated biotic factors.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stackpole, DJ and Vaillancourt, RE and Alves, A and Rodrigues, J and Potts, BM
Keywords: tree improvement; wood chemicals; adaptation; lignin cellulose; extractives; syringyl; guaiacyl
Journal or Publication Title: G3
DOI / ID Number: 10.1534/g3.111.000372
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution Unported License ( ), which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Supporting information is available online at

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page