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Forests 2018, 9(7), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070418

High Throughput Screening of Elite Loblolly Pine Families for Chemical and Bioenergy Traits with Near Infrared Spectroscopy

1
Forest Products Development Center, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
4
Department of Biosystems Engineering, Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
5
Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Abstract

Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) dominates 13.4 million ha of US southeastern forests and contributes over $30 billion to the economy of the region. The species will also form an important component of the renewable energy portfolio as the United States seeks national and energy security as well as environmental sustainability. This study employed NIR-based chemometric models as a high throughput screening tool to estimate the chemical traits and bioenergy potential of 351 standing loblolly pine trees representing 14 elite genetic families planted on two forest sites. The genotype of loblolly pine families affected the chemical, proximate and energy traits studied. With a range of 36.7% to 42.0%, the largest genetic variation (p-value < 0.0001) was detected in the cellulose content. Furthermore, although family by site interactions were significant for all traits, cellulose was the most stable across the two sites. Considering that cellulose content has strong correlations with other properties, selecting and breeding for cellulose could generate some gains. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pinus taeda; wood traits; bioenergy potential; genotype × environment interaction; non-destructive testing; bioeconomy Pinus taeda; wood traits; bioenergy potential; genotype × environment interaction; non-destructive testing; bioeconomy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Acquah, G.E.; Via, B.K.; Gallagher, T.; Billor, N.; Fasina, O.O.; Eckhardt, L.G. High Throughput Screening of Elite Loblolly Pine Families for Chemical and Bioenergy Traits with Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Forests 2018, 9, 418.

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