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Genetic variation in flowering traits of Tasmanian Leptospermum scoparium and association with provenance home site climatic factors


Wellington, CN and Vaillancourt, RE and Potts, BM and Worledge, D and Oa grady, AP, Genetic variation in flowering traits of Tasmanian Leptospermum scoparium and association with provenance home site climatic factors, Plants, 11, (8) Article 1029. ISSN 2223-7747 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

DOI: doi:10.3390/plants11081029


Leptospermum scoparium is emerging as an economically important plant for the commercial production of mānuka honey and essential oils, both exhibiting unique antibacterial attributes. To support its domestication this is the first quantitative genetic study of variation for L. scoparium traits. It utilised plants from 200 open-pollinated families derived from 40 native populations, from across the species range in Tasmania, grown in a common garden field trial. The traits studied were survival, growth, and the flowering traits precocity, the timing of seasonal peak flowering, flowering duration, and flowering intensity. Significant genetic variation was evident at the population level for all traits studied and at the family level for three traits - growth, flowering precocity, and time to peak flowering. These three traits had moderate to high narrow-sense heritability estimates ranging from 0.27 to 0.69. For six of the traits studied, population differences were associated with climate attributes at the locations where seed was collected, suggesting adaptation to the local climate may have contributed to the observed population differentiation. Population level geographical trends suggest that genotypes to focus on for domestication originate from the eastern half of Tasmania for precociousness and the western half of Tasmania for earlier time to peak flowering and extended flowering duration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Leptospermum, genetic variation, heritability, provenance variation, flowering, precocity, growth, climate, manuka, plantation, common garden, medicinal honey
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Pollination biology and systems
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Horticultural crops not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wellington, CN (Mr Christopher Wellington)
UTAS Author:Vaillancourt, RE (Professor Rene Vaillancourt)
UTAS Author:Potts, BM (Professor Brad Potts)
ID Code:152946
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-08-29
Last Modified:2022-10-24
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