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Optimum Age For Family Selection for Growth in Genetic Tests of Loblolly Pine

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To increase the efficiency of the breeding and testing program of the North Carolina State University-Industry Cooperative Tree Improvement Program, an analysis of 18 first-generation genetic tests of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) was conducted to guide the decision of when growth should be assessed in advanced generation genetic tests. The biologically optimum age (where gain per year was maximized) for selecting families from these tests ranged from 3 to 10 years of age. Under reasonable assumptions for age-age correlations and heritability changes over time, expected gain per year in the breeding program was the greatest for selection between 6 and 8 years. The higher present value of gains from younger selection ages would lower the optimum selection age to 4 years or earlier. For. Sci. 34(2):400-411.
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Keywords: Genetic gain; Pinus taeda L; juvenile-mature correlations; tree improvement

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Geneticist and Assistant Professor, Cooperative Tree Improvement Program, Department of Forestry, Box 8002, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8002

Publication date: 01 June 1988

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