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Genetic Control of Height Growth Components in Jack Pine Seedlings

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Annual height increment (AHI) and its two components, number of stem units (NSU) and mean stem unit length (MSUL), were measured when both components were developing simultaneously during the first season and when preceded by a rest period during the second season. Plant material consisted of 20 open-pollinated Pinus banksiana families comprising four provenances in the Lake States region. The seedlings were grown the first season in two controlled environment rooms that differed only in temperature, and they were grown the second season in a greenhouse. Measurements were made at the end of each growing season. In addition, seeds of each family were dissected and seedcoat, endosperm and embryo weights were obtained. Based on seed class effects, there was no maternal effect on height growth parameters (AHI, NSU, MSUL) for the two growing seasons. Provenance effects, detected only during the second season, were significant for NSU and AHI; MSUL was controlled primarily by family-within-provenance effects. NSU and MSUL were negatively correlated both on an environmental and genetic basis during both seasons. NSU was a better predictor of AHI on a provenance level, whereas MSUL was a slightly better predictor on a family-within-provenance level. Path analyses computed on family mean values showed that the path coefficient corresponding to MSUL was slightly superior to that corresponding to NSU. A significant part of both path coefficients was due to the negative correlation between the two components. Forest Sci. 29:451-464.

Keywords: Pinus banksiana; path coefficient; seed weight; stem units; temperature

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Chief Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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