OJF  Vol.5 No.5 , July 2015
Selection Strategy for Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) Families Originating from Contrasting European Populations
ABSTRACT
Genetic material originating from contrasting European chestnut (Castanea sativa) populations of Greece, Italy and Spain was evaluated in a common garden test situated in Greece. The aim of the study is to device an appropriate selection strategy by identifying and conserving superior genotypes for current and future use in breeding programs. Breeding material consisted of 143 open-pollinated families growing in a common garden provenance-progeny experimental trial. Growth trait genetic parameters were estimated and response to selection was evaluated using family, within family and combined selection methods. Two models were employed for the estimation of family variance and genetic parameters. The CVA varied between 12.1% and 67% among traits and models, showing an increasing trend with age. Heritability estimates were high; however their variation with age was irregular. Selection of superior families regarding three years of measurement for height, diameter, volume index and number of leaves showed a potential gain of 12% - 25%, 12% - 28%, 33% - 73% and 21% - 49% over the mean of all plants. Genetic gain for volume index was the highest among the traits studied and the joint model used presented a more effective selection strategy. Results indicate that the experimental trial studied presented substantial genetic variation and sufficient genetic gain opportunities for quantitative traits of economic importance. These findings suggest that inferior trees can be rogued from the experimental trial and a seedling seed orchard of Castanea sativa in Greece can be established.

Cite this paper
Tchatchoua, D. , Aravanopoulos, F. (2015) Selection Strategy for Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) Families Originating from Contrasting European Populations. Open Journal of Forestry, 5, 489-499. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2015.55042.
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