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Interspecific hybridization of Eucalyptus: key issues for breeders and geneticists

Potts, BM and Dungey, HS 2004 , 'Interspecific hybridization of Eucalyptus: key issues for breeders and geneticists' , New Forests, vol. 27, no. 2 , pp. 115-138 , doi:

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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
Authors/Creators:Potts, BM and Dungey, HS
Keywords: Breeding strategy, Genetics, Heterosis, Hybrid inviability, Hybrids, Incompatibility, Seed production
Journal or Publication Title: New Forests
ISSN: 0169-4286
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

BM Potts. The original publication is available at

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