, 2014, this special issue). The results of provenance research have been crucial for tree breeding programmes, which mostly aim at gradual improvement of breeding Osimertinib populations rather than the development of new varieties (there are some exceptions, such as the breeding of eucalypts and poplars). Tree breeding was initiated in a few European countries in the 1930s (Hitt, 1952), and by the 1950s many countries across the world had established tree breeding programmes that currently include around 700 tree species
(according to FAO, 2014). Tree breeding is a rather slow process, as one cycle of testing and selection may take decades, rather than the months or year required in the breeding of most agricultural crops. The oldest tree breeding programmes are now 50–70 years old, and the most advanced of them are only in their third cycle of testing and selection (Neale and Kremer, 2011). Traditional tree breeding is based on the phenotypic selection of individuals (plus trees), testing their progeny and then selecting again the best individuals for the establishment of seed orchards and further breeding. JNK inhibitor Testing is usually
focused on growth, wood properties, resistance or tolerance to pests and diseases, and other traits of commercial interest. More recently, climate change-related traits such as plasticity and drought tolerance have been increasingly considered by breeding programmes (FAO, 2014). Molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS) has raised hopes to reduce the time and money needed for tree breeding, but the polygenic architecture of the traits and the variable expression of quantitative trait loci across environments mean that progress remains difficult when applying MAS to forest trees (Neale and Kremer, 2011). Tree breeding is mainly carried out by research institutes,
cooperatives and public and private companies. The level of engagement of different tree breeding programmes in international collaboration and germplasm transfer varies considerably, depending on the way they have organized their work and the availability of financial resources. In Australia, New Zealand and the United States, a number of breeding cooperatives were formed early to pool the resources of collaborators through joint breeding programmes for a number of tree Masitinib (AB1010) species. The International Tree Breeding and Conservation Program (Camcore), established in 1980, is a notable example largely funded by the private sector that now has a global membership. Camcore’s early work focused on Mesoamerican pines but now it convenes breeding programmes for both conifers and broadleaves, and it has had a major role in transferring tree germplasm for breeding purposes. From the 1980s, it undertook range-wide seed collections of 191 provenances of six Mesoamerican pines (P. tecunumanii, P. oocarpa, P. caribaea, P. maximinoi, P. patula and P. greggii) ( Dvorak et al., 1996) and it has established provenance or progeny trials at 823 locations in ten countries.