In the USA, forest genetics research began over 100 years ago and loblolly pine breeding programs were established in the 1950s. However, the genetics underlying complex traits of loblolly pine remains to be discovered. To address this, adaptive and growth traits were measured and analyzed in a clonally tested loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) population. Over 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers detected from exome sequencing were used to test for single-locus associations, SNP-SNP interactions, and correlation of individual heterozygosity with phenotypic traits. A total of 36 SNP-trait associations were found for specific leaf area (5 SNPs), branch angle (2), crown width (3), stem diameter (4), total height (9), carbon isotope discrimination (4), nitrogen concentration (2), and pitch canker resistance traits (7). Eleven SNP-SNP interactions were found to be associated with branch angle (1 SNP-SNP interaction),
Lu, Mengmeng; Krutovsky, Konstantin V.; Nelson, C. Dana; West, Jason B.; Reilly, Nathalie A.; Loopstra, Carol A. 2017. Association genetics of growth and adaptive traits in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) using whole-exome-discovered polymorphisms. Tree Genetics & Genomes. 13(3): 199-216. 18 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-017-1140-1.