n Southern African Forestry Journal - "New" pine species and hybrids: is there still potential? : creating new germplasm




Many tree breeding programs are moving into advanced generation breeding, and breeders need to ensure continued gains from these programs. The potential of infusing genetic material into existing breeding programs, the introduction of "new" species, and hybridisation are discussed as options available to the tree breeder to increase variability and gain.<br> <i>Pinus patula&lt;/i&gt; is the most important pine species in South Africa. The provenance origin of the first introductions of <i>P. patula&lt;/i&gt; seed is unknown. The results of a series of <i>P. patula&lt;/i&gt; provenance / progeny trials established from wide range collections made by CAMCORE indicate that the original importations did not come from the best sources. Infusion of this new material into local breeding populations will result in generating new variation in the base populations and resultant added gains.&lt;br&gt; Mondi Forests main processor requirements are for pulp and paper and <i>P. patula&lt;/i&gt; is the preferred species. Recent expansions in afforestation have tended towards marginal land with regard to rainfall, temperature and soils. Results from a series of CAMCORE <i>P. greggii&lt;/i&gt; trials established on these site types indicate that <i>P. greggii&lt;/i&gt; shows potential as an alternative to <i>P. patula&lt;/i&gt;.&lt;br&gt; Species hybridisation is another option for breeders to generate new variability, to take advantage of hybrid vigour or to combine specific traits from different species. Hybrid work in South Africa was initiated by SAFRI in 1968 and the <i>P. elliottii x P. caribaea&lt;/i&gt; hybrid showed excellent growth potential. Mondi has concentrated its efforts on the <i>P. greggii x P. patula&lt;/i&gt; hybrid and results of the first trial established with this hybrid has shown it to have potential.


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