Poplar breeding and improvement

The project helped to establish important poplar clonal collections in Naiman Banner, Inner Mongolia, and Tongyu County, Jilin Province, from 1991 to 2001. The collections gathered 650 native and imported poplar clones and varieties. The collections constituted a major source for poplar clone exchange and introduction in the Three North Region of China, and are anticipated to become an important resource base for conducting national and international poplar genetic improvement work. So far, the collections have provided superior clonal materials (in the form of cuttings) to five provinces and autonomous regions in China. To further strengthen cooperation between the provinces and to introduce to western China some of the materials collected by the project, the project signed collaboration agreements with research and development agencies and institutions in Ningxia Hui autonomous region to set up propagation centres.

In clonal tests, a number of criteria were studied, including juvenile growth in nursery; root development; vigour; and frost and drought resistance. Seven indicators were identified and surveyed, reflecting the performance of introduced poplar clones, covering stem growth, height, cold resistance, pest and disease resistance, trunk form, and number of side branches.

Using this classification, 23 clones were identified with the best performances in Korqin. They included: Populus euramericana cv. ND182; P. simonii "Baicheng"; P. nigra "Aertai" cv. 8401; P. nigra; P. pyramidalis; P. euramericana cl. "I-M"; P. "Zhonglin 86-22"; P. xiaohei; P. p15A; P. nigra; Populus deltoides cv. Shanhaiguan; and P. simonii xiaozhuannica cl. "Faku-1". The growth of these clones were found better than the growth of traditional clones such as P. simonii xiaozhuannica cl. "Baicheng-41" and P. simonii xiaozhuannica cl. "Baicheng-2" after 7 years of observation. Several clones also showed satisfactory cold tolerance, pest and disease resistance, and trunk form and side branching. These clones were tested further in the Korqin Sandy Lands, while further research and monitoring of important characteristics needs to be continued.

Extracted from
FAO. 2002. Technical project review document. Rome.
last updated:  Monday, October 17, 2005