Metla Project 3051

Genetic basis of forest tree breeding

[  Suomeksi  |  Objectives  |  Project leader  |  Researchers  |  Publications  |  Metla Research  ]

Duration: 1967-1997   Keywords: Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, adaptation, climatic change, origin, population structure, provenance, reproductive system, resistance, seed transfers, timber line


Genetics is the main basic science providing theoretical basis for tree breeding. The discipline of genetics has been subdivided into several branches, such as molecular, population, and ecological genetics. Molecular genetics is now mainly within biotechnology project, but the borders are rather diffuse between adjacent branches.

The project is a conglomerate of several investigations. Therefore, various aims are given. What kind of adaptation to climate do the trees have, and are they able to adapt to the predicted climate change? How large is genetic variation in adaptive and commercially important traits, and how well is the genetic system able to maintain it? How to utilize the natural defence mechanisms against pests and diseases in tree breeding. What are the specific features of timber line populations? How does the genetic structure of broad leaved species differ from that of conifers?

The approach is predominantly empirical. Old provenance trials and other experimental cultivations are extremely valuable to this project. Short time experiments in manipulated environments and computer simulations are also applied. The work is performed to large extent at research stations of Punkaharju and Kolari.

Researchers in 1996:

Veikko Koski, project leader, climatic adaptation
Egbert Beuker, adaptation to climate change
Juhani Häggman, hormonal regulation
Matti Rousi, herbivore resistance
Heikki Henttonen, small rodents population biology
Pekka Niemelä, herbivore insects
Alpo Luomajoki, timing of flowering
Seppo Ruotsalainen, exotic species and adaptation to marginal environment
Heikki Kauhanen, ecology of disturbed areas
nneli Viherä-Aarnio, genetics of deciduous trees


Department of Genetics, University of Oulu
Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu.

Project leader: Koski, Veikko

Other researchers: Beuker, Egbert, PU (1993-97), Henttonen, Heikki, VA (1993,1995), Häggman, Juhani, PU (1993-97), Häkkinen, Risto, ES (1995-97), Kauhanen, Heikki, KO (1993-95), Luomajoki, Alpo, VA (1993-97), Niemelä, Pekka (1993-94), Partanen, Jouni, PU (1994-96), Rautanen, Juha (1993-94), Rousi, Matti, PU (1993-95), Ruotsalainen, Seppo, PU (1993-97), Viherä-Aarnio, Anneli, VA (1993-97), Ylioja, Tiina (1993-94)

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Updated 12.06.2012