Open Access

Inheritance and Genetic Gain in Wood Stiffness in Radiata Pine Assessed Acoustically in Young Standing Trees


Wood stiffness, measured in terms of its modulus of elasticity (MoE) is an important characteristic of radiata pine for structural products. To select high stiffness radiata pine for breeding purpose, rapid, inexpensive methods for measuring wood stiffness are desirable. In this study, we explored acoustic instruments to measure stiffness of young standing trees in radiata pine and examined inheritance and genetic gain for stiffness in an Australian national breeding program. Time of flight of sound waves was recorded in standing trees in two progeny trials, one in eastern Victoria (Flynn) aged 8 years and the other in South Australia (Kromelite) aged 7 years. Average time of flight at Kromelite was higher than at Flynn, (519 μs/metre compared to 463 μs/metre) which corresponds to 3.7 GPa and 4.7 GPa for MoE, respectively. Heritability for time of flight was higher at Flynn (h2 = 0.67 ± 0.10) than at Kromelite (h2 = 0.30 ± 0.14). Selection of the best 10% for time of flight based on pooled data would result in 21% genetic gain in wood stiffness.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biotechnology, Plant Science