Advances in reproductive biology and seed production systems of Eucalyptus: the case of Eucalyptus globulus

  • BM Potts School of Plant Science and Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • MH McGowen School of Plant Science and Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • DR Williams School of Plant Science and Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia; Forestry Tasmania, 79 Melville St, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • S Suitor Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, School of Agricultural Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 54, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • TH Jones School of Plant Science and Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • PL Gore seedEnergy Pty Ltd, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • RE Vaillancourt School of Plant Science and Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia

Abstract

Eucalyptus globulus is the main eucalypt species grown in Australian plantations. The focus on seedling deployment systems, coupled with exploitation of large, open-pollinated base populations for breeding purposes over the last two decades, has required a detailed understanding of the reproductive biology of this species. We review our research on the reproductive biology of E. globulus, with a focus on its breeding system and advances made in seed production systems. While most improved seed is still obtained from open-pollinated seedling or grafted seed orchards, the development of the one-stop/single-visit pollination procedure has revolutionised the breeding and deployment of this species. The reduced costs of controlled pollination has meant full pedigree-control can now be maintained in large advanced-generation breeding populations and E. globulus is one of the few eucalypt species where large-scale production of manually pollinated seed for family forestry is being undertaken.

Keywords: breeding system; deployment; eucalypt; genetic parameters; inbreeding depression; pollination; seed orchards

Southern Forests 2008, 70(2): 145–154
Published
2008-09-18
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2070-2639
print ISSN: 2070-2620