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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Forest tree gene conservation. Theory and application for Castanea sativa

Eriksson, G


The most important objective in forest tree gene conservation is to safeguard the potential for adaptation. It is important to include existing variation in adaptedness in the gene resource population, which advantageously should be split into several subpopulations. This concept of forest tree gene conservation has been coined as MPBS: Multiple Population Breeding System. The need for additive variance in each subpopulation for traits of adaptive significance is stressed. The dynamics of natural populations caused by the complex interation among evolutionary factors, natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, and mutation, are briefly discussed. Such an interaction in natural populations means that we will never find individuals, which are perfect in all of their fitness traits. The effective population size of each gene resource subpopulations should be at least 50 to avoid random loss of genetic variation. The gene resource subpopulations should ideally be identified based on traits of adaptive significance. Markers usually have low discrimination power and thus rendering them less suitable for identification of existing variation in adaptedness. Separate gene conservation is suggested for high forest and fruit orchards. For in situ gene resource subpopulations it is important to take measures to promote their regeneration


adaptive traits. evolutionary factors; multiple population breeding system

Published in

Advances in Horticultural Science
2006, Volume: 20, number: 1, pages: 101-106