Genetic improvement of some main planting tree species to increase plantation productivity and quality in the period 2001-2005

Phi Hong Hai1, Doan Thi Mai1, Tran Ho Quang2

1 Research Centre for Forest Tree Improvement

2 Centre of Forestry Biotechnology 

The national research project “Genetic improvement for some main planting tree species to increase plantation productivity and quality” in the period 2001-2005 was implemented by the Research Centre for Forest Tree Improvement, Forest Science Institute of Vietnam. The overall objective of the project was to improve plantation productivity and quality for some main planting tree species in Vietnam, and to contribute to improving stakeholder’s incomes and the competitiveness of the country. The objective was achieved through breeding, testing, selection of the best performing varieties, and releasing them to production via appropriate propagation methods. The project also aimed at maintaining genetic diversity of main planting tree species for future genetic improvement.

In the period 2001-2005 the project had successfully selected over 44 varieties of Acacias and Eucalypts that have high productivity, good stem form and disease resistance. Among those, 11 varieties had been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as national and technological advance varieties for commercial planting in suitable ecological areas. The vegetative propagation technology by cutting and tissue culture had also been successfully developed for these genetically improved planting varieties.

The project has established breeding populations having high genetic diversity for some main planting tree species including Acacia (A. mangium, A. auriculiformis, A. crassicarpa), Eucalyptus (E. urophylla, E. pellita, E. camaldulensis, E. grandis and E. tereticornis) and Pinus (P. caribaea, P. kesiya and P. massoniana). These breeding populations are valuable sources for providing genetically improved seed for production and also important genetic resources for future breeding activities.The project has also successfully studied genetic control and the degree of genetic variation of growth traits and some economically valuable wood quality traits e.g. wood density, cellulose content, and mechanical wood properties for sawn timber production. The information is valuable for developing and optimizing breeding strategies that incorporate wood properties in breeding programs. Based on these studies, many clones of Acacia and Eucalyptus that have good growth and desired wood quality have been selected. They are being tested and the best performing clones will be released to production in the near future.

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