Genomic selection in forest tree breeding: the concept and an outlook to the future

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Isik, Fikret. 2014. New Forests 45 (3): 379–401. doi:10.1007/s11056-014-9422-z.

Type Journal Article
Author Fikret Isik
Volume 45
Issue 3
Pages 379-401
Publication New Forests
ISSN 0169-4286
Date May 1, 2014
Journal Abbr New Forests
DOI 10.1007/s11056-014-9422-z
Language English
Abstract Using large numbers of DNA markers to predict genetic merit [genomic selection (GS)] is a new frontier in plant and animal breeding programs. GS is now routinely used to select superior bulls in dairy cattle breeding. In forest trees, a few empirical proof of-concept studies suggest that GS could be successful. However, application of GS in forest tree breeding is still in its infancy. The major hurdle is lack of high throughput genotyping platforms for trees, and the high genotyping costs, though, the cost of genotyping will likely decrease in the future. There has been a growing interest in GS among tree breeders, forest geneticists, and tree improvement managers. A broad overview of pedigree reconstruction and GS is presented. Underlying reasons for failures of marker-assisted selection were summarized and compared with GS. Challenges of GS in forest tree breeding and the outlook for the future are discussed, and a GS plan for a cloned loblolly pine breeding population is presented. This review is intended for tree breeders, forest managers, scientist and students who are not necessarily familiar with genomic or quantitative genetics jargon.


  • Forests
  • Forest tree breeding
  • Forest trees
  • Genes
  • Genetic gain
  • Genetics
  • Genomic selection
  • Kinship analysis
  • Marker assisted selection
  • Selection
  • Statistical methods
  • Trees

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