Elm breeding for DED resistance, the Italian clones and their wood properties
AbstractIn Italy, an elm breeding program to develop Dutch elm disease-resistant trees has been established by cross-breeding Asian elms with indigenous species, in order to produce individuals that combine resistance of the first with growth characteristics and higher degree of environmental adaptability of the second. Thus, the favourable adaptation of Ulmus pumila in Italy has been explored: «San Zanobi» and «Plinio» are two recent results of this research and many others promising clones as «FL090», «FL146», «FL441», «FL568», «FL634», are in the final stage of field testing. The resistance levels of all these clones were significantly higher level of resistance than «Lobel» and «Urban» in several assessments during different years. First technological tests indicate that the wood characteristics of «San Zanobi» and «FL090» clones are comparable to those of elm wood traditionally present on the market, thus highlighting that those clones is likely to satisfy the elm wood demand. The present characterisation needs to be confirmed by further evaluations of mature trees having bigger diameters and allowing industrial trials, still not available so far.
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