Eucalyptus applied genomics: from gene sequences to breeding tools


  • Dario Grattapaglia,

    1. Plant Genetics Laboratory, Embrapa – Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Parque Estação Biológica, Brasília 70770-970 DF, Brazil;
    2. Graduate Program in Genomic Sciences and Biotechnology, Universidade Católica de Brasília – SGAN 916 módulo B, Brasília 70790-160 DF, Brazil;
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  • Matias Kirst

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Graduate Program in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, and University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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Author for correspondence:
Dario Grattapaglia Tel: +55 61 3448 4652 Fax: +55 61 3340 3624 Email:



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


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.