Breeding Radiata Pine to Maximise Profits by Incorporating Risk Traits
Australian radiata pine plantations are at risk of being badly affected by a changing climate that will bring more droughts as well as change the distribution and severity of a number of diseases and pests. However, the impact of these problems may be lessened if tree breeders can select trees that have greater genetic resistance. This study examined the impacts of drought, Essigella pine aphid, Dothistroma (fungus) needle blight and Fusarium pitch canker resistance on Radiata pine plantations; estimated what level of genetic resistance may exist for these problems; and aimed to determine characteristics that can be used to select plant genotypes with superior resistance to current and potential risks.
The annual economic benefit of a 10% improvement in Essigella aphid resistance varies between $450,000 and $1,888,000; Dothistroma resistance varies between $38,600 and $314,640; andFusarium pitch canker resistance varies between $33,000 and $1,235,000 depending on the total area and severity of infection.