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Keywords:

  • association genetics;
  • Eucalyptus;
  • genomics;
  • molecular breeding;
  • molecular markers;
  • quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping

Contents

 Summary911
I.Introduction912
II.Eucalyptus biology and domestication913
III.Eucalyptus breeding and clonal forestry913
IV.Marker-assisted management of genetic variation in breeding populations914
V.Genetic mapping and quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis915
VI.Gene discovery and genetical genomics916
VII.Association mapping918
VIII.Molecular breeding920
IX.From gene sequences to breeding tools922
X.Future developments and challenges924
 Acknowledgements926
 References926

Summary

Eucalyptus is the most widely planted hardwood crop in the tropical and subtropical world because of its superior growth, broad adaptability and multipurpose wood properties. Plantation forestry of Eucalyptus supplies high-quality woody biomass for several industrial applications while reducing the pressure on tropical forests and associated biodiversity. This review links current eucalypt breeding practices with existing and emerging genomic tools. A brief discussion provides a background to modern eucalypt breeding together with some current applications of molecular markers in support of operational breeding. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and genetical genomics are reviewed and an in-depth perspective is provided on the power of association genetics to dissect quantitative variation in this highly diverse organism. Finally, some challenges and opportunities to integrate genomic information into directional selective breeding are discussed in light of the upcoming draft of the Eucalyptus grandis genome. Given the extraordinary genetic variation that exists in the genus Eucalyptus, the ingenuity of most breeders, and the powerful genomic tools that have become available, the prospects of applied genomics in Eucalyptus forest production are encouraging.