Marker aided selection for commercial traits in Pinus taeda

Association forest genetics is a promising approach to understand the architecture of complex traits in trees and the relationship with their phenotypic variation. Understanding complex traits can aid classical breeding in forest trees to improve benefits to the market and also by contributing to evolutionary pathways in population genetics.

Association genetics deals with the linking of phenotypic variation with allelic variation in candidate genes controlling the trait of interest for wood production and also for health tree protection. An useful interpretation in the forestry prospective is the type of experiment when a set of resequenced single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) are detected to explain a fraction of the phenotypic variation of the trait (Figure 1). This is how association mapping is used to identify causal mutations in candidate genes previously located by QTL studies.

The goal of this research is to increase the efficiency of commercial breeding programs by addition of molecular information in order to integrate molecular tools in breeding strategies of forest trees.

Jaime Zapata Valenzuela – PhD Student

Figure 1: SNP representation in a double stranded DNA fragment for 3 hypothetical individuals, tree 1, 2 and 3. Tree 1 is heterozygous, whereas Trees 2 and 3 are homozygous (CTGN Short Course, University of California 2009).Figure 1: SNP representation in a double stranded DNA fragment for 3 hypothetical individuals, tree 1, 2 and 3. Tree 1 is heterozygous, whereas Trees 2 and 3 are homozygous (CTGN Short Course, University of California 2009).