New Forests

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 417–437 | Cite as

Development and commercialisation of the Pinus patula × P. tecunumanii hybrid in response to the threat of Fusarium circinatum

  • A. Kanzler
  • A. Nel
  • C. Ford


During the last 20 years a program to develop and commercialize the Pinus patula × Pinus tecunumanii hybrid, as a replacement for P. patula, has been successfully implemented. The first crosses were initiated during the early 1990s and lead to establishment of field trials across a wide variety of sites. This work gained further impetus when it became apparent that Fusarium circinatum, was causing poor post-planting survival of newly established stands of P. patula. P. tecunumanii, has been shown to be tolerant to this disease and thus a second, more comprehensive hybrid testing phase was implemented. Improvements in controlled pollination techniques and propagation methods, as well as access to genetically improved parent-stock and the use of molecular marker technology for fingerprinting was effectively utilized to greatly improve the process during this second phase. The use of artificial inoculation trials have demonstrated that the hybrid, in particular when using the low elevation (LE) provenances of P. tecunumanii, had substantially greater tolerance to F. circinatum than P. patula and survival figures from field trials support these results. Four-year volumes also indicate large growth improvements, although frost damage on certain sites presents a challenge for deployment on colder sites; and this is being tackled through breeding and accurate mapping of frost risk. Large-scale controlled pollinations and vegetative multiplication are now utilized commercially to produce the P. patula × P. tecunumanii (LE) hybrid as an alternative to P. patula.


P. patula P. tecunumanii Fusarium circinatum Disease and frost tolerance Hybrid breeding 



The authors would like to thank the following organizations for help in carrying out various aspects of the work—FABI, FMG, Camcore and the CSIR. In addition the input and work of several members of the Sappi team are gratefully acknowledged. These include Kgosi Mongwaketsi, Eric Simelane, Mthokozisi Makhathini, Jacob Crous, Riyad Ismail, Leigh Williams and Luke Solomon.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sappi Forest ResearchHowickSouth Africa

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