Canadian Forest Service Publications

Clonal variation in morphology, growth, physiology, anatomy and ultrastructure of container-grown white spruce somatic plants. 2000. Lamhamedi, M.S.; Chamberland, H.; Bernier, P.Y.; Tremblay, F.M. Tree Physiology 20: 869-880.

Year: 2000

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20474

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

We assessed clonal variation in morphological variables, mineral nutrition, root growth capacity, net photosynthesis, tannin distribution, and cuticle and epicuticular wax features within four families of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss). Seeds were collected from four families obtained through controlled crosses among selected genotypes. For each family, plants were produced either from seeds (zygotic) or by somatic embryogenesis (clones). Each family was therefore represented by its zygotic seedlings and three clones. Within a family and under similar growth conditions, several clones differed significantly from the zygotic seedlings in height, root-collar diameter, needle dry mass, branch density, shoot dry mass, root dry mass, and length of needles. Branch density (number of first-order branches per cm height) of zygotic seedlings and clones varied from 0.8 to 1.4 branches cm-1 and from 0.6 to 1.3 branches cm-1, respectively. Mean needle length of zygotic seedlings and clones ranged from 11 to 14mmand from 11 to 17 mm, respectively. For many variables (height, dry mass of new roots, needle dry mass and branch density), differences among clones were significantly greater than differences among zygotic seedlings within a family. Tannins were more abundant in needles of clones than in needles of zygotic seedlings. In some clones, tannins occurred as a ribbon along the central vacuole, whereas in others they appeared as aggregates dispersed in the vacuole. Within a family, N, P and K showed considerable variations in their use efficiency. Interclonal variations were observed in root growth potential and net photosynthesis. Variations in growth and physiology reflect genetically determined differences among clones within a family.

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