, 214:230 | Cite as

Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in Castanea spp. is under moderately high genetic control mainly because of additive genetic variance

  • A. López-Villamor
  • J. Fernández-López
  • B. Míguez-Soto
  • M. E. Sánchez


Susceptibility to Phytophthora cinnamomi is one of the main traits in Castanea sativa breeding programs. An inoculation experiment using 25 control pollinated families, with seedlings of these families cloned by cuttings, was conducted by soil infestation with one P. cinnamomi isolate. Forty-seven days after inoculation, foliar and root collar symptoms and root necrosis were recorded. The data were analyzed using a model based on restricted maximum pseudolikelihood methods of the GLIMMIX procedure to estimate the additive, dominance and epistatic components of the genetic variance, as well as the narrow sense heritability and the breeding values. At the end of the experiment, the percentages of dead plants ranged from 4% to 56% in C. sativa, and 18% to 20% in backcrosses to C. sativa, with much lower percentages in the F1 hybrids (C. crenata × C. sativa). Foliar symptoms were proportional to mortality, affecting 28% of the plants, but root collar lesions and root necrosis were more prevalent, affecting 65% and 84% of the plants, respectively. The proportions of genetic to phenotypic variance, 0.50–0.63, and the estimated values of narrow-sense heritability, 0.30–0.46, indicate that resistance to P. cinnamomi is under moderate to moderately high genetic control caused mainly by additive genetic variance. A high number of backcrosses to C. sativa showed good breeding values for resistance to P. cinnamomi.


Cuttings Genetic variance components Heritability Ink disease Inoculation 



This study was supported by the project ‘Conservation and breeding of chestnut (2013–2015)’, funded by sub-measure 323.2.3 of the plan ‘Conservation and improvement of natural heritage, convergence region’ from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and by a scholarship (FPI-INIA number 32-495082) linked to the project ‘Genetic structure of populations of the chestnut tree (Castanea sativa Miller) RTA2009-00163-00-00. The authors thank the nursery people of the Forest Research of Lourizán for their help. We thank Scott Lloyd, PhD, from Edanz Group (, for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forestry Research Centre of LourizánPontevedraSpain
  2. 2.ETSIAM, Universidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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