2.09.00 - Tree seed, physiology and biotechnology
Tree seed is the main mode of forest regeneration as well as for ex situ conservation of genetic resources and for restoration. Seed orchards have been the main delivery system of tree breeding since the 1960s, and much of the reforestation stock used in forestry today is derived from genetically improved seeds. In the past two decades, there has been significant improvement in vegetative propagation techniques for forest trees, particularly in somatic embryogenesis (SE), offering new opportunities and possibilities to enhance tree breeding and rapid deployment of improved stock. Advances in seed orchard management, vegetative propagation and biotechnology must be carefully integrated to promote forestry practices aimed at sustainable production of wood and fiber balanced with socioeconomic needs, biodiversity, and climate change. Seed physiology and technology is a basis for seed production, storage, and restoration. This Research Group (RG 2.09.00), "Tree seed, physiology and biotechnology" provides a forum for discussion of issues on seed orchards in connection with tree breeding (WP 2.09.01), development and application of SE and related technology (WP 2.09.02), and forest tree seed physiology and technology (WP 2.09.03). The exchange of information on all aspects of forest regeneration technology to meet objectives of reforestation and restoration is fostered for sustainable forest management.
State of Knowledge
Seed orchards are the main supplier of forest regeneration material around the world and will continue to be the main means of making genetic improvement. The genetic gain from seed orchards is increasing, and much accumulated knowledge is available for uptake. Recently, SE, an alternative means of propagation and conservation through cryopreservation, has been vastly improved and it is now being used in commercial high-value, multi-varietal forestry. Biotechnological advances are contributing to the effective management of seed orchards, the novel strategies for deploying tree varieties using SE and cryopreservation, and the elucidation of seed physiology and storage solutions for both tropical and temperate tree species.