Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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

BM Potts, MH McGowen, DR Williams, S Suitor, TH Jones, PL Gore, RE Vaillancourt


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

AJOL African Journals Online