To improve the output within the EC of Douglas fir reproductive material with high genetic quality.
The project concentrated on the following 4 main topics of genetic improvement of Douglas fir: conservation methods and management tools of genetic resources; quality of existing genetic resources; common broad base population and tools for cooperative breeding programmes; techniques for mass deployment of genetic gains obtained through breeding programmes. A database was developed to archive the available European Douglas fir genetic resources, currently about 1000 ha. The conservation and viability assessment of seed and pollen were improved and, 2 methods, based on pollen conductivity and pollen respiration, were developed to assess pollen viability. The provenances were found to account for 40% or 50% of the total variation of growth among some Douglas fir populations, and the genetic gains through Douglas fir clonal selection seem promising. Early prediction of growth and wood quality was also studied. Effort was put in to developing a bulk vegetative propagation process and results were obtained on flower stimulation for both breeding purposes (GA 4/7 injection in branches), and operational seed production in seed orchards (combination of girdling and GA 4/7 injection). The results contribute to the improved conservation and management of European genetic resources of Douglas fir and high genetic gains can be expected with Douglas fir seed collected from selected stands.
Conservation of genetic resources:
improving the techniques for germplasm cold storage (pollen and seeds);
conceiving an appropriate draft database system to store information about the European conservation plantations;
extending the ares of conservation plantations in participating countries, using available seed lots of high genetic quality.
Utilisation of forest reproduction material:
evaluation of the variability among EC countries;
tests of improved European and American material within the EC;
effect of mycorrhization on Douglas fir provenances.
evaluation of genetic parameters;
optimal breeding strategy for Douglas fir in the EC.
graft compatible rootstocks;
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts