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    A single test, including one pseudo-backcross (Pinus elliottii x Pinus taeda) x P. elliottii and openpollinated families of the pure species progenitors, was established in North Central Florida in December 2007 to study the transfer of the fast-growing characteristics from a P. taeda L. (loblolly pine) parent into the P. elliottii Engelm. (slash pine) background. Several traits were measured in the first growing season: height growth, phenology, tip moth incidence, stem traits, crown architectural and needle traits. Heterosis was evaluated for each trait using analyses of variance by fitting a linear mixed model. All traits were significantly (p value < 0.05) different among families while the significance for heterosis aried by trait. Positive heterosis was found for average rate of shoot elongation (ASRE), total growth (TG), total height and number of needles per fascicle while the opposite was true for base diameter, top diameter, fascicle length, fascicle diameter, crown projected area and phenological traits (cessation, duration and day to reach 50% of the height). Average performance (i.e., no heterosis) was found for initiation of growth, number of branches, number of nodes, tip moth incidence, sheath length and specific leaf area. The analyses indicated that introgression of loblolly pine alleles into slash pine was effective and novel trait combinations were achieved. The pseudo-backcross had larger variation in early height growth than the slash pine families and was taller than all open-pollinated families at the end of the first season. Tip moth incidence was much lower than the loblolly pine family.

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    Munoz Del Valle, Patricio R.; Huber, Dudley A.; Butnor, John R. 2011. Phenotypic analysis of first-year traits in a pseudo-backcross {(slash x loblolly) x slash} and the ope-pollinated families of the pure-species progenitors. Tree Genetics & Genomes 7(1):183-192.


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    Pseudo-backcross, Genetic transfer, Heterosis, Pinus taeda, Pinus elliottii, Southern pines

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