Population Response to Positive Assortative Mating in Forest Tree Breeding.

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Title: Population Response to Positive Assortative Mating in Forest Tree Breeding.
Author: Lstiburek, Milan
Advisors: Dr. Timothy J. Mullin, Committee Chair
Dr. Dag Lindgren, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Trudy F. C. Mackay, Committee Member
Dr. Bailian Li, Committee Member
Abstract: Positive assortative mating (PAM) may substantially enhance genetic variance in a breeding population (BP). This creates potential for additional genetic gains available through production populations (PP) to forest plantations. Open-nucleus strategies (NB) have been incorporated in forest tree breeding programs. In NB, the BP is subdivided into two hierarchical levels, a nucleus and a main population, and can be considered a less rigorous form of PAM. First, PAM was compared to NB by stochastic simulation considering jointly genetic gain and diversity within the framework of a long-term breeding program. Test effort was either assumed constant throughout the entire BP or was redirected according to the rank of each mate. The simulation revealed that PAM results in larger gains in the PP compared to NB under both situations and at any target PP diversity. Second, the test effort during PAM was redirected by varying family sizes as a linear function of mid-parent BLUP values. The actual distribution of mid-parent BLUP values was standardized by a constant value, which was varied in simulation scenarios to cover the entire range of the distribution of family sizes. When equal numbers of progenies were selected per family and the variation in family sizes was maximized, only a minimal reduction in BP diversity was observed, compared to cases with constant family sizes. Under such favorable conditions, the redistribution of resources increased genetic response and variance in the BP, causing substantially greater genetic response in the PP. These conclusions were verified under a mixed-inheritance model with a major-gene locus contributing to variation in a quantitative trait. Finally, the investigation of PAM was extended by considering correlated traits within the framework of a clonal forestry program. The success of somatic embryogenesis in families generated by crossing elite genotypes developed in the breeding program was either considered exponentially distributed or constant. The distribution of success caused non-significant differences in genetic gain of PP. These conclusions were verified over a range of correlation, heritabilities and economic weights of traits.
Date: 2006-03-14
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Forestry
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3821

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