Genetic variation and inheritance of susceptibility to Neonectria neomacrospora and Christmas tree traits in a progeny test of Nordmann fir

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  • Jing Xu, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Ulrik Bräuner Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Fikret Isik, North Carolina State University
  • ,
  • Martin Jensen
  • Ole Kim Hansen, Københavns Universitet
• Key message
Pronounced additive genetic variation and high narrow-sense heritability for lesion length caused by Neonectria neomacrospora were found in a Nordmann fir progeny test. Significant inbreeding depression was detected in traits important for Christmas tree production. Recurrent selection for multiple traits would be successful for Christmas tree quality traits.

• Context
The fungal pathogen N. neomacrospora causes severe damage in Nordmann fir Christmas trees in Denmark. Family variation in disease susceptibility in the species has not been investigated before. This is the first combined genetic analysis of susceptibility to N. neomacrospora and Christmas tree traits in Nordmann fir.

• Aims
Evaluate the genetic variation of susceptibility to N. neomacrospora and five Christmas tree traits in Nordmann fir.

• Methods
Five Christmas tree traits were measured on 2413 trees in a progeny test. Artificial inoculation was conducted on detached twigs of full-sib progenies with a N. neomacrospora isolate to assess the resistance/susceptibility. Observed variation was partitioned into genetic and environmental causes to understand the heritable control of the traits.

• Results
Pronounced additive genetic variation was observed in susceptibility to N. neomacrospora and Christmas tree traits. Narrow-sense heritability for susceptibility to N. neomacrospora was 0.63. Significant differences between selfings and outcrossed trees were detected for all traits. Significant improvement for Christmas tree quality could be observed in the breeding process.

• Conclusion
Resistance to N. neomacrospora disease and other Christmas tree characteristics can be improved through recurrent selection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • Inbreeding, Narrow-sense heritability, Polymix mating, Spatial analysis

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