Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    For most wild species affected by exotic pests or pathogens, the relative importance of heritable genetic differences in determining apparent variation in disease resistance is unknown. This is true in particular for butternut, a North American hardwood affected by butternut canker disease and undergoing demographic contraction. Little is known about site effects on butternut decline, in part because long-term monitoring data are lacking. We collected detailed disease phenotypes and multilocus microsatellite genotypes for all surviving individuals in a large natural population of butternut in 2003 (n=302) and 2012 (n=113). Two analytical methods, correlations between pairwise phenotypic similarity and pairwise relatedness, and estimation of among-family variance, both indicated weak heritability of disease-related traits and no heritability for overall tree health in the population. Additionally, an analysis of spatial data collected in 2001 (n=341) and 2012 (n=113) demonstrated that drier, upland sites contribute to increased likelihood of survival. We conclude that genetic differences among wild butternut individuals contributed little to observed variance in survival over 10 years but fine-scale site differences were useful predictors of butternut mortality.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    LaBonte, Nicholas R.; Ostry, Michael E.; Ross-Davis, Amy; Woeste, Keith E. 2015. Estimating heritability of disease resistance and factors that contribute to long-term survival in butternut (Juglans cinerea L.). Tree Genetics & Genomes. 11(3): 63.


    Google Scholar


    Ophiognomonia clavigignenti-juglandacearum, Butternut canker disease, Heritability, Forest genetics, Butternut

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page