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Monozygotic cleavage polyembryogenesis and conifer tree improvement

Don J. Durzan


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The mass cloning of elite genotypes of commercially important conifers has led to the establishment of an industrial forest of two of the most important softwood species in the USA. Embryonal-suspensor masses, produced by monozygotic cleavage polyembryony (MCP), are rescued from controlled-pollinated seeds in tree breeding orchards. MCP is scaled up as cell suspensions and grown into mature somatic embryos. The embryos serve as a source for the production of various artificial and manufactured seeds used in replicated field trials to test genotype x environmental interactions. For the capture of genetic gains, early selections are based on correlations with known traits. This reduces the costs of years of tree improvement. Mass cloning and genotype cryopreservation enables field testing under a wider range of sites. Process-controlled bioreactors are proposed as artificial ovules to impose nutritional variables from the mother tree, and to simulate environmental factors that are known to affect the performance of the new generation. Comparisons among extant and modern conifer genotypes would provide new insights regarding their latent potentials for apomixis, the alternation of generations, and adaptive plasticity.

Tsitologiya i Genetika 2008, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 27-44

Professor, Plant Sciences MS6
University of California
One Shields Ave. Old Davis Rd,
Davis, CA 95616

E-mail: djdurzan

Don J. Durzan Monozygotic cleavage polyembryogenesis and conifer tree improvement, Tsitol Genet., 2008, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 27-44.

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