2.02.07 - Larch breeding and genetic resources


Luc Paques, France


Throstur Eysteinsson, Iceland

Martin Perron, Canada

Katsuhiko Takata, Japan

About Unit

The main scope of the Unit is to facilitate exchange of information on research progress in genetics and tree improvement activities for the various Larix species, as well as on related research fields (physiology, wood quality, pathology, etc).

Punctually, the Unit will try to initiate and co-ordinate joint research on key-issues as done in the past with international provenance trials of European and Japanese larches.

Learn more about the history of the Unit.

State of Knowledge

Even if officially created in 1976, the foundation of this Unit goes back to initiatives of Dr. R. Schober and W. Schmidt and, W. Langner and Iwakawa who in the late fifties and sixties launched the international provenances trials for European larch and Japanese larch respectively.

These two initiatives really set up the basis of international cooperation on larch. Key-results have been obtained since then on the geographic structure of the natural genetic variability of L. decidua and L. kaempferi and these initiatives have been the starting point of many breeding programmes across Europe and beyond.

The scope of the Unit has progressively enlarged to include the genetics of a broader set of species, interspecific hybridisation aspects, mass-propagation methodology, etc and is now concerned with improvement of a large set of traits including adaptation, growth, pest resistance, architecture, wood quality, etc. As such, during its meetings, the Unit has made a special effort to open the group to colleagues from other disciplines (ecology, silviculture, pathologists, wood technologists, physiologists, etc)

Major topics of interest for the future will concern among others:

  • knowledge on genetic variability of Eurasian larch species,
  • adaptative capacity of larch species/populations to climatic change,
  • genetic variability of wood parameters,
  • potential of interspecific hybridisation,
  • mass-propagation methodology