Grafton, Australia
Grafton, Australia

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Shepherd M.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Bartle J.,Bentley Delivery Center | Lee D.J.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Brawner J.,CSIRO | And 6 more authors.
Biofuels | Year: 2011

Eucalypts are both a proven but largely unexplored source of woody biomass for biofuel production. Few of the some 900 species have been evaluated for cropping, yet among them are the most productive and versatile biomass species in the world, grown in over 90 countries, with species found to suit most tropical and temperate climates. The biology, science and technology underlying the breeding and growing of eucalypts and their potential for biofuel production are reviewed. How eucalypts meet sustainability and economic criteria for biofuel feedstocks, and the advantages of woody feedstocks broadly, are considered. Relevant aspects of eucalypt taxonomy, evolution, natural distribution, human dispersal, composition, domestication and biotechnology of the groups' potential as a biofuel feedstock resource are reviewed. Two case studies are outlined, illustrating species identification, domestication and harvesting processes where eucalypts are prospective biofuel feedstocks. Eucalypts are strong contenders as a universal woody biomass feedstock for biofuel. © 2011 Future Science Ltd.

Sexton T.R.,Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies | Sexton T.R.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Henry R.J.,Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies | Henry R.J.,University of Queensland | And 6 more authors.
Australian Forestry | Year: 2010

Breeding for wood quality is limited by the long generation times and the delay before wood quality can be measured reliably. Association studies allow links between phenotype and genotype to be made, and are a prelude to accelerated domestication of trees by molecular breeding approaches. This study uses association genetics to identify DNA polymorphisms that correlate with solid wood properties of Eucalyptus pilularis Smith (blackbutt). We undertook extensive phenotyping of dimensional stability, growth and structural wood properties on a nine-year-old progeny trial established by Forests NSW at Hannam Vale, near Port Macquarie in NSW. A subset of 372 phenotyped individuals representing 284 families collected from 37 provenances was used as the association population for genotypic assessment. Fifty-two out of 127 novel DNA polymorphisms were surveyed within four candidate genes, CCR, CAD, MYB1 and MYB2. Several putative associations between wood quality traits and selected DNA polymorphisms are reported, along with the likely mechanism of action on wood quality. Association studies such as this will facilitate non-destructive DNA tests for heritable wood properties that can be used to enrich breeding populations at any developmental stage with desirable alleles.

Sexton T.R.,Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies | Sexton T.R.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Sexton T.R.,University of British Columbia | Henry R.J.,Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies | And 13 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2012

This association study of Eucalyptus pilularis populations provides empirical evidence for the role of Pectin Methylesterase (PME) in influencing solid wood characteristics of Eucalyptus. PME6 was primarily associated with the shrinkage and collapse of drying timber, which are phenotypic traits consistent with the role of pectin as a hydrophilic polysaccharide. PME7 was primarily associated with cellulose and pulp yield traits and had an inverse correlation with lignin content. Selection of specific alleles in these genes may be important for improving trees as sources of high-quality wood products. A heterozygote advantage was postulated for the PME7 loci and, in combination with haplotype blocks, may explain the absence of a homozygous class at all single-nucleotide polymorphisms investigated in this gene. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

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