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Research article2010Peer reviewed

Marker-based parentage analysis facilitates low input 'breeding without breeding' strategies for forest trees

Wang, XR; Torimaru, T; Lindgren, Dag; Fries, Anders


Controlled crosses and progeny testing are important components of tree breeding programs. Recently, a new approach, 'breeding without breeding' (BWB), has been proposed to obtain structured pedigrees for the breeding and testing from wind-pollinated progenies; the technique uses high-resolution markers instead of conventional approaches. The BWB approach is attractive for outcrossing conifers where the breeding cycle is long and reproductive maturity is often delayed. For the application of the BWB approach, the accurate assignment of parents is essential. The first step in the application of the BWB approach is to conduct tests into the reliability of paternity and parent-pair exclusion procedures in complex situations. In this study we conducted multi-locus-based empirical and simulation analyses for a Scots pine seed orchard crop, in order to develop the appropriate parentage assignment techniques for BWB and to investigate whether pedigrees from a seed orchard crop can be determined with sufficient accuracy. The results were promising, as 93-97% of the seeds generated by mating among the seed orchard clones were correctly assigned to a parent-pair. When mating occurred with foreign pollen, the success rate of identifying mother clones was 60-78%. Based on these results, we propose three novel low input breeding strategies for forest trees. The principles of the different options and their potential benefits and costs are described and discussed using Scots pine as a case study.


Breeding strategy; DNA marker; Genetic gain; Pedigree reconstruction; Seed orchard

Published in

Tree Genetics and Genomes
2010, Volume: 6, number: 2, pages: 227-235