rss_2.0Silvae Genetica FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Silvae Genetica Genetica 's Cover survey sequencing of and identification of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Ailanthus altissima</italic> is a deciduous tree native to China and introduced to other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. It exhibits resistance to both abiotic and biotic stress factors and has various pharmacological effects and strong allelopathy, generating significant research interests. However, the genome sequence of this species has not been reported, limiting its research development. The purpose of the study was to determine the genome size and characteristics of <italic>A. altissima</italic> to conduct its genomic survey. Next-generation sequencing and K-mer analysis were employed to measure the genome size of <italic>A. altissima</italic>. Overall, a total of 61.93 Gb high-quality clean data were acquired, representing approximately 64.09× coverage of the <italic>A. altissima</italic> genome. The genomic characteristics of <italic>A. altissima</italic> include a genome size of 966.38 Mbp, a heterozygosis rate of 0.78 %, and a repeat rate of 41.22 %. A total of 735,179 genomic SSRs markers were identified based on genome survey sequences. Alignment analysis showed that <italic>A. altissima</italic> was closely related to <italic>Citrus sinensis</italic> and <italic>Leitneria florida-na</italic>. This study provides basic information for future whole-genomic sequencing of <italic>A. altissima</italic>. This will facilitate a knowledge of the population structure, genetic diversity, long distance-gene transfer, and pollen-based gene flow analyses of <italic>A. altissima</italic> populations from its known distribution ranges in China, focusing on planted and natural forest stands.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-08-08T00:00:00.000+00:00Estimation of optimal timing of early selection based on time trends of genetic parameters in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Early selection is an imperative in ongoing forest tree breeding. This study estimated the optimal timing of early selection in <italic>Abies sachalinensis</italic> (F. Schmidt) Mast. based on time trends of genetic parameters obtained from two test sites. Tree height (<italic>H<sub>t</sub></italic>) at 5, 10 (11), 15, 20, 30, and 40 years of age and diameter at breast height (DBH) at 20, 30, and 40 years of age were analyzed. The efficiency of early selection per year (<italic>E</italic>) for performing early indirect selection relative to performing direct selection at the earliest rotation age (40 years of age) was estimated based on narrow-sense heritability (<italic>h</italic><sup>2</sup>) and age–age genetic correlation (<italic>r</italic>). The <italic>h</italic><sup>2</sup> of <italic>H<sub>t</sub></italic> peaked at 10 or 15 years of age (0.52–0.71), and that of DBH was the highest at 20 years of age (0.19 or 0.22). The age–age genetic correlation between tree heights or between tree height and DBH at different ages decreased with increasing differences between ages (regression coefficients were −0.011 and −0.007, respectively). The <italic>E</italic> values were highest at 10 or 15 years of age (0.84-1.74 and 1.42-2.24 for <italic>H<sub>t</sub></italic> and <italic>H<sub>t</sub></italic>-DBH, respectively), indicating the optimum selection timing. In Japapnese forestry, the initial growth rate is considered important for reducing weeding costs. Selection at 10 or 15 years of age had more than in &gt;65 % indirect genetic gain relative to the direct genetic gain at 5 years of age; thus, selection at 10-15 years of age is appropriate considering the initial and mature phases of tree growth.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-07T00:00:00.000+00:00Estimating of Additive, Dominance, and Epistatic Genetic Variance in Eucalypt Hybrid Population<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Additive, dominance and epistasis genetic variances were estimated from analysis of a clonally replicated full-sib progeny test grown in the Republic of Congo. Phenotypic variance components were estimated for ages 4 through 25 months for growth and at ages 8 and 18 months for ecophysiological traits. The estimation of genetics effects was derived from the individual mixed model. Genetic structure was incorporated into variances and covariance’s effects based on markers information. The detected genetic effects of epistasis are significant in some traits. This study shows that epistasis variance can be non-zero and contribute significantly to the genetic variability of growth and ecophysiological traits. We conclude that the epistatic effect for quantitative traits may exist, but estimates may not be obtained, either because the models used are inappropriate or because the epistasis variance is too small relative to other components of the genetic variance to be estimated.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-07T00:00:00.000+00:00Flexible DNA isolation procedure for different tree species as a convenient lab routine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>DNA isolation is a fundamental technique for all molecular biology laboratories. Depending on the plant species, DNA isolation can be challenging. In particular, adapted protocols rarely exist for tree species which are not used as standard model organisms. Here, we describe a flexible DNA isolation protocol that works for 59 tree species in a modular system. It is based on an ATMAB-containing extraction buffer to which proteinase K and/or boric acid are added, depending on the plant species. Subsequent purification steps include one or two precipitations with dichloromethane and, depending on the tree species, an optional sodium acetate precipitation. Using leaf material of a hybrid poplar clone from <italic>in vitro</italic> culture, it was determined that higher amounts of DNA could be isolated with this material than from field leaves. Starting from leaf material, DNA isolation for difficult cases was achieved with cambium or root tissue. This protocol was used to extract DNA for subsequent PCR amplification. Markers for cpDNA, mtDNA, and genomic DNA were used for standardized testing.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00Traumatic ducts size varies genetically and is positively associated to resin yield of open-pollinated progenies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Mexico ranks 5<sup>th</sup> in worldwide resin production. <italic>Pinus oocarpa</italic> is the most widely tapped pine tree in Mexico. Michoacán (central-western Mexico) is the first nationwide state producer of resin. Despite the <italic>P. oocarpa</italic> relevance, there is no genetic improvement program in the country for resin production. We evaluated the degree of genetic control for growth, anatomical traits, resin yield, and the correlation among them at an early age (five-years-old for growth, six for resin, and anatomical traits) in a <italic>P. oocarpa</italic> half-sib progeny trial. Families were originated from selected mother trees, based on their resin yield. We found significant genetic variation among families for stem volume (<italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>i</sub></italic>= 0.12, <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>f</sub></italic>= 0.35), traumatic ducts (diameter: <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>i</sub></italic>= 0.63, <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>f</sub></italic>= 0.51; area: <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>f</sub></italic>= 0.81), and resin yield (individual and family narrow-sense heritability: <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>i</sub></italic>= 0.20, <italic>h</italic><italic><sup>2</sup></italic><italic><sub>f</sub></italic>= 0.52), and a positive correlation between diameter and area of traumatic ducts with resin yield (Pearson correlation: <italic>r</italic>= 0.73, <italic>p</italic>= 0.04; <italic>r</italic>= 0.71, <italic>p</italic>= 0.0497; respectively). Results suggest that the early selection (six-years-old) of superior <italic>P. oocarpa</italic> families, based on resin yield (estimated by microchipping technique), and/or based on larger diameter and area of traumatic ducts, appears to be a feasible strategy to develop seed orchards able to provide genetically improved seeds for intensive resin tree plantations. That would be an important alternative for a state as Michoacán, Mexico, where natural <italic>P. oocarpa</italic> stands are being replaced for avocado orchards for exportation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-06-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Retrotransposon-based markers revealed a repartition depending on geographical origin and breeding status of Tunisian pistachio species<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Retrotransposon movements are considered to be an important factor in evolutionary processes and speciation as well as a source of genetic variation. In order to analyze genetic diversity and population structure in Tunisian pistachio species, nine inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism (IRAP) markers were used. As a result, eighty-six amplicons were produced among which 98.15 % were polymorphic. Mean numbers of the effective number of alleles (Ne), Shannon’s information index (I) and Nei’s genetic diversity (H) were respectively 1.529, 0.478, and 0.310. The average within-population genetic diversity (Hs) was 0.24 and the total diversity (Ht) was 0.3. The Tunisian pistachio populations exhibited high genetic differentiation (Gst =0.275) and gene flow (<italic>Nm</italic> = 1.888). The Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) indicated that variation was very high within populations (83 %). Phylogenetic tree using neighbor- joining (NJ) method and Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) depicted that groupings of Tunisian varieties were made independently of the sex of the trees, but depending on their geographical origin and their breeding status. The modelbased Bayesian clustering (STRUCTURE) confirmed these observations. The inter-retrotransposons amplification polymorphism markers were significantly informative at the interspecific level. Findings reported in our study will be essential toward breeding for new pistachio genotypes with developed chemical and horticultural features.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-02-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Expression profiles of 11 candidate genes involved in drought tolerance of pedunculate oak ( L.). Possibilities for genetic monitoring of the species.<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Pedunculate oak (<italic>Quercus robur</italic> L.) is one of the most significant broadleaved tree species in Europe. However, various abiotic and biotic agents have influenced pedunculate oak forests, among which drought stress has been frequently described as the main driver of this species forests decline. In this study we assessed relative expression profile of 11 candidate genes involved in many different metabolic pathways and potentially responsible for oak drought tolerance. The obtained results succeed in partially tackling drought tolerance mechanisms of targeted natural pedunculated oak population. This gene pool may represent a base for adaptation and therefore genetic diversity should be conserved. In this paper we described different expression responses of four pedunculate oak ecological groups, characterized by different physiological status (senescent vs vital) and flowering period (early (var. <italic>praecox</italic>) vs late (var. <italic>tardissima</italic>)). The most significant differences in relative gene expression levels are shown between the flowering period (<italic>tardissima</italic> (8 genes upregulated) vs <italic>praecox</italic> (3 genes upregulated)), more than a physiological status (sene-scent vs vital). Only three genes <italic>wrky</italic>53, <italic>rd</italic>22 and <italic>sag</italic>21 showed upregulated expression pattern in senescent physiological groups, indicating their possible role in the coping mechanisms of oak in stressed environment. Results showed interesting connections of relative gene expression values of identified drought-tolerance related genes with flowering period and provide further recommendations for adequate conservation and monitoring of this important oak gene pool in its southeast refugium.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Identification of hybrid formulae of a few willows () using ovule numbers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Salix</italic> is a genus of considerable taxonomic complexity, and accurate identification of its species and hybrids is not always possible. Quantification of ovules was used in this study to verify the parentage of a few hybrids of <italic>Salix</italic>. It has been shown that ovule numbers in willow hybrids are the mean of the ovule numbers of their parents. The ovule index of a prostrate specimen of <italic>S. ×cottetii</italic> affirmed that this was a hybrid of <italic>S. myrsinifolia</italic> Salisb. and <italic>S. retusa</italic> L., and the ovule index of the ornamental cultivar ‘The Hague’ affirmed that this was a hybrid of <italic>S. caprea</italic> L. and <italic>S. gracilistyla</italic> Miq. Finally, we also examined a confusing group, previously identified in North America as <italic>S. pentandra</italic>. The ovule indexes and other morphological characters indicated that there were four taxa among the studied specimens: <italic>S. pentandra</italic>, <italic>S. ×meyeriana</italic>, <italic>S. serissima</italic> Fernald, and a hybrid of <italic>S. serissima</italic> and <italic>S. fragilis</italic> that has not previously been described. It was concluded that quantification of ovules in willows is a reliable tool that can be used in willow taxonomy, genetics and population studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Genome-wide bioinformatics analysis revealed putative substrate specificities of SABATH and MES family members in silver birch ()<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Plant SABATH family members catalyze the methylation of many hormones, signaling molecules, and floral scent metabolites, including salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and indol-3 acetic acid (IAA). Demethylation of resulting methyl esters was executed by members of the MES family. Members of both families are significantly involved in plant developmental processes. Here, using different bioinformatics tools, we studied the evolutionary relationship and characterized the putative functions of the family members in silver birch (<italic>Betula pendula</italic>). It is a socio-ecologically important tree species and plays a vital role in reforestation. Ten and twelve members of the SABATH (BpSABATH1-10) and MES (BpMES1-12) family were identified in silver birch, respectively at the gene and enzyme levels. The <italic>BpSABATH</italic> and <italic>BpMES</italic> genes were distributed on seven of fourteen chromosomes, indicating the occurrence of moderate duplication events important for the expansion of both families. Phylogenetic clustering and the gene ontology database suggest, BpSA-BATH8 is involved in the methylation of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), while BpSABATH5, BpSABATH6, and BpSABATH7 methylate JA to methyl jasmonate (MeJA). BpSABATH9 was alone in the phylogenetic functional group 1 and prefers SA as a substrate to synthesize methyl salicylate (MeSA). Likewise, BpMES5 and BpMES12 are possibly involved in the demethylation of the methyl ester of IAA, while BpMES6, BpMES7, and BpMES8 are responsible for the demethylation of MeJA. BpMES9 clustered with MES and prefers MeSA as a substrate. The current analysis helped to select candidate genes that could be subjected to further molecular breeding of birch varieties adapted to biotic and abiotic stress conditions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-06T00:00:00.000+00:00Variation and Evolution of Genome Size in Gymnosperms<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Gymnosperms show a significantly higher mean (1C=18.16, 1Cx=16.80) and a narrow range (16.89-fold) of genome sizes as compared with angiosperms. Among the 12 families the largest ranges of 1C values is shown by Ephedraceae (4.73-fold) and Cupressaceae (4.45-fold) which are partly due to polyploidy as 1Cx values vary 2.41 and 1.37-fold respectively. In rest of the families which have only diploid taxa the range of 1C values is from 1.18-fold (Cycadaeae) to 4.36-fold (Podocarpaceae). The question is how gymnosperms acquired such big genome sizes despite the rarity of recent instances of polyploidy. A general survey of different families and genera shows that gymnosperms have experienced both increase and decrease in their genome size during evolution. Various genomic components which have accounted for these large genomes have been discussed. The major contributors are the transposable elements particularly LTR-retrotransposons comprising of <italic>Ty3gypsy</italic>, <italic>Ty1copia</italic> and <italic>gymny</italic> superfamilies which are most widespread. The genomes of gymnosperms have been acquiring diverse LTR-RTs in their long evolution in the absence of any efficient mechanism of their elimination. The epigenetic machinery which silences these large tracts of repeat sequences into the stretches of heterochromatin and the adaptive value of these silenced repeat sequences need further investigation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-09-25T00:00:00.000+00:00Fate of forest tree biotechnology facing climate change<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Woody plants have been cultured <italic>in vitro</italic> since the 1930s. After that time much progress has been made in the culture of tissues, organs, cells, and protoplasts in tree species. Tree biotechnology has been making strides in clonal propagation by organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. These regeneration studies have paved the way for gene transfer in forest trees. Transgenics from a number of forest tree species carrying a variety of recombinant genes that code for herbicide tolerance, pest resistance, lignin modification, increased woody bio-mass, and flowering control have been produced by <italic>Agrobacterium</italic>-mediated and biolistic methods, and some of them are undergoing confined field trials. Although relatively stable transgenic clones have been produced by genetic transformation in trees using organogenesis or somatic embryogenesis, there were also unintended unstable genetic events. In order to overcome the problems of randomness of transgene integration and instability reported in <italic>Agrobacterium</italic>-mediated or biolistically transformed plants, site-specific transgene insertion strategies involving clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR-Cas9) platform offer prospects for precise genome editing in plants. Nevertheless, it is important to monitor phenotypic and genetic stability of clonal material, not just under greenhouse conditions, but also under natural field conditions. Genetically modified poplars have been commercialized in China, and eucalypts and loblolly pine are expected to be released for commercial deployment in USA. Clonal forestry and transgenic forestry have to cope with rapid global climate changes in the future. Climate change is impacting species distributions and is a significant threat to biodiversity. Therefore, it is important to deploy Strategies that will assist the survival and evolution of forest tree species facing rapid climate change. Assisted migration (managed relocation) and biotechnological approaches offer prospects for adaptation of forest trees to climate change.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-08-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Variation in cone, seed, and kernel nutritional components traits of<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Pinus koraiensis</italic> Sieb. et Zucc. (Korean pine) is an evergreen coniferous tree species with significant therapeutic and nutritional value in northeastern China. To assess variation and select highly productive and nutritionally valuable materials, 25 cone, seed, and kernel nutritional components traits were measured and analyzed. Coefficients of variation for phenotypic traits ranged from 6.32 % to 161.51 %, and the coefficients of most traits were approximately 10 %. Most traits showed significant or extremely significant differences among clones or groups, especially for amino acid content. Cone numbers were under moderate genetic control, and their repeated ability ranged from 0.42 to 0.53. Most other traits were under high genetic control, and their repeated ability was higher than 0.70. Despite the weak correlation with seed traits, cone number had strong correlations with other characters. Four principal components were obtained with a cumulative variance contribution of 93.51 %. The selected elite material will provide a theoretical basis for selection and breeding of <italic>P. koraiensis</italic>.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Genetic structure and postglacial recolonization of Du Tour in the West Siberian Plain, inferred from nuclear microsatellite markers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The total of 257 trees from the ten natural Siberian stone pine populations of West Siberian Plain, Ural Mountains and Kuznetsk Alatau were studied with the eight nuclear microsatellite loci. Differentiation of population groups indicates the possible existence of separate refugia in the past in the Urals and Kuznetsk Alatau. The northern populations of Western Siberia were characterized by a reduced level of genetic diversity, which could be a consequence of the founder effect in the process of <italic>P. sibirica</italic> migration from the southern regions of Western Siberia and the Urals since the end of the last glacial maximum. The genetic variability distribution among populations shows the uneven dynamics of Siberian stone pine migration from the zones of supposed refugia. The map of the proposed ways of Siberian stone pine migration from the zones of possible refugia was constructed, and it is in a good agreement with the results of palynological investigations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-20T00:00:00.000+00:00Investigation of Clonal Structure and Self-incompatibility in Japanese Endemic Snow Camellia ()<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We investigated the clonal structure, self-incompatibility, and number of seeds per fruit in <italic>Camellia rusticana</italic>, a Japanese endemic species, in comparison to the closely related <italic>C. japonica</italic>. Clonal propagation was more vigorous in <italic>C. rusticana</italic> than in <italic>C. japonica</italic> and the clonal structure of <italic>C. rusticana</italic> varied among populations. <italic>C. rusticana</italic> can maintain genets for extended periods, even in harsh environments such as high-altitude areas with considerable snow accumulation, because even a single surviving genet can propagate clonally. However, sexual reproduction (<italic>i.e.</italic>, reproduction by seed) is advantageous for dispersal to distant suitable habitats. An artificial crossing test revealed high self-incompatibility in <italic>C. rusticana</italic>, as observed in <italic>C. japonica</italic>. In addition, the number of seeds per fruit was lower in <italic>C. rusticana</italic> than in <italic>C. japonica</italic>. Self-incompatibility in <italic>C. rusticana</italic> may play a role in production of high-quality seed, despite low seed production.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-08-23T00:00:00.000+00:00The traceability of clones using molecular markers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The improvement of Eucalyptus clones plays a crucial role in modern silviculture. This study used a set of 17 microsatellite loci to analyze the genetic diversity and structure of 107 elite clones (80 <italic>E. grandis</italic> and 27 <italic>E. globulus</italic>). All clones were cultivated in Uruguay and were sourced from three different providers. Using the fingerprinting technique, an exclusive molecular profile was assigned for each clone, and the genotyping reaction showed differences between the two species. The cumulative probability of identifying two random individuals that share the same genotype (<italic>PI</italic>) with all 17 loci, was estimated as low for <italic>E. grandis</italic> (1.18×10-15) and <italic>E. globulus</italic> (4.03×10-14). The combined <italic>PIsibs</italic> was (1.05×10-5) and (2.17×10-5) for <italic>E. grandis</italic> and <italic>E. globulus</italic>, respectively. A total of 180 alleles were detected for <italic>E. grandis</italic> and 100 for <italic>E. globulus</italic>. We found a high mean number of alleles per locus (10 for <italic>E. grandis</italic> and 6 for <italic>E. globulus</italic>), and the results for mean polymorphic information content (<italic>PIC</italic> ) were (0.648) and (0.548), respectively. The observed heterozygosity (<italic>H<sub>o</sub></italic>) ranged from 0.216 to 0.838 (mean = 0.509) for <italic>E. grandis</italic> and 0 to 1 (mean = 0.566) for <italic>E. globulus</italic>. Two core sets of seven EST-SSR loci were identified for each species. These markers revealed unambiguous fragment amplification, providing a minimum number of SSRs for effective clonal identification. The genetic structure analysis suggests that the germplasm of the <italic>E. grandis</italic> population is structured in four clusters, while the <italic>E. globulus</italic> population consists of two clusters.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Polyploidy in Gymnosperms-A Reappraisal<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Recent polyploidy in gymnosperms is unusually scarce being present in only 9.80 % of the 714 taxa studied cytologically. Polyploid forms are represented by sporadic seedlings and individual trees, intraspecific polyploidy in cultivation or in wild and entirely polyploid species and genera. Polyploidy shows a non-random distribution in different genera being mostly prevalent in <italic>Ephedra</italic> and <italic>Juniperus</italic>, besides the classic examples of <italic>Sequoia</italic> and <italic>Fitzroya</italic>. Remarkably, both <italic>Ephedra</italic> and <italic>Juniperus</italic> show adaptive radiation by interspecific hybridization followed by polyploidy while in <italic>Ginkgo</italic> viable polyploid cytotypes are found in cultivation. Induced polyploidy has not provided any tangible results in the past but recent attempts on certain genera of Cupressaceae hold some promise of producing cultivars for horticulture trade. Lastly, various evidences derived from cytological analysis, fossil pollen, guard cells and comparative genomic studies indicating the occurrence of paleopolyploidy have been discussed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-01-29T00:00:00.000+00:00The genetic basis of sex determination in provides molecular markers across the genus and indicates convergent evolution<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Many dioecious angiosperms are trees, which only flower after years of vegetative development and do not usually exhibit marked secondary sexual dimorphism. Nevertheless, if the genetic basis of sex determination is known, the sex of an individual can be determined using molecular markers. Here, we report that in the genus <italic>Populus</italic> sect. Populus an XY system of sex determination, which is found in <italic>P. tremula</italic> and <italic>P. tremuloides</italic>, likely re-evolved from a ZW system present in <italic>P. alba, P. adenopoda</italic> and <italic>P. qiongdaoensis</italic>. Strikingly, this new XY system is mechanistically identical to the older system found in several species of the <italic>Populus</italic> sections Tacamahaca, Aigeiros and Turanga demonstrating a remarkable example of convergent evolution. In both XY systems, male-specific inversely repeated sequences appear to silence the <italic>ARR17</italic> gene, which functions as a sex switch, via small interfering RNAs and DNA methylation. In the ZW system, female-specific copies of <italic>ARR17</italic> appear to regulate dioecy. With this detailed information on the genetic basis of sex determination it was possible to develop molecular markers that can be utilized to determine the sex in seedlings and non-flowering trees of different poplar species. We used the female-specific <italic>ARR17</italic> gene to develop a sex marker for <italic>P. alba</italic> and <italic>P. adenopoda</italic>. For <italic>P. grandidentata</italic>, we employed the male-specific <italic>ARR17</italic> inverted repeat. Finally, we summarize previously described markers for P. <italic>tremula</italic>, <italic>P. tremuloides</italic>, <italic>P. trichocarpa</italic>, <italic>P. deltoides</italic> and <italic>P. nigra</italic>. These markers can be useful for poplar ecologists, geneticists and breeders.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-09-20T00:00:00.000+00:00Inheritance of the wood properties of the Japanese red pine ( Siebold et Zucc.) from the open-pollinated families selected as resistance to the pine wood nematode<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Pine wilt disease is one of the most serious tree diseases occurring worldwide. Clones of <italic>Pinus densiflora</italic> Siebold et Zucc with pine wood nematode resistance were selected. In addition to resistance, wood quality is also an important criterion in the breeding program of <italic>P. densiflora</italic> because of its use as construction lumber. However, little information is available on the wood qualities of the progenies of resistant clones. The repeatabilities of the wood properties were investigated for 11 open-pollinated families of <italic>P. densiflora</italic> selected for their pine wood nematode resistance. Oven-dry density, latewood tracheid length, the microfibril angle (MFA) of the S2 layer in latewood tracheids, modulus of elasticity (MOE), and modulus of rupture (MOR) were measured in the third or fourth annual ring from the pith. No significant correlations were found between the wood properties and the stem diameter or tree height. However, significant correlations were found between oven-dry density and MOE or MOR, which suggests that oven-dry density is a good indicator for selecting wood with higher bending properties. Among the measured wood properties, oven-dry density had the highest repeatability (<italic>R</italic>=0.47), followed by MOR (<italic>R</italic>=0.33), tracheid length (<italic>R</italic>=0.21), and MFA (<italic>R</italic>=0.14). MOE had the lowest value (<italic>R</italic>=0.01). The 11 families examined were classified into three groups according to their growth characteristics, wood properties, and resistance to pine wilt disease. On the basis of the results, we conclude that genetic improvement of wood properties especially for wood density and MOR is possible for the resistant <italic>P. densiflora</italic>.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Obituary - Dr. Hans J. Muhs (1939-2021) of Efficiency in Hybrid Poplar Genotype Testing<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Natural Resources Research Institute Hybrid Poplar Program breeds and tests genetically improved clones for bio-mass production and environmental services. The testing process progresses from Nursery Progeny Tests (NPT) to Family Field Trials (FFT) to Clone Trials (CT) to Yield Blocks (YB), with limited replication of many clones in FFT and CT and a limited number of highly selected clones set out in monoclonal blocks (YB) to approximate the conditions of commercial plantations. We used correlation vectors, R<sup>2</sup> (coefficient of determination) and r<sub>s</sub> (Spearman’s Coefficient) for growth (DBH<sup>2</sup>) and McFadden’s Pseudo R<sup>2</sup> for canker severity score, to determine where testing times could be altered (age – age correlations) and whole testing steps eliminated. FFT can be shortened from 5 years to 4 years. In CT, rank correlations between age 5 (half-rotation) and age 9/10 (full rotation) were significant (R<sup>2</sup> = 0.39 – 0.72), but age 5 selection missed 44 % of the top ten clones at age 9/10. Clone rank in CT at full, but not half, rotation was correlated with rank at full rotation in YB. Choosing clones at 9 years in CT adds 4 years but allows possible elimination of YB for clone selection. Both FFT and CT are necessary. Canker abundance and severity in CT at full rotation cannot be determined at earlier ages. An aggressive strategy saves 6 years of testing.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-28T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1