Tree Breeding Australia continuously strives to improve efficiencies in identifying genetic gains for increased profitability in plantations.
We partner with research agencies and occasionally undertake research ourselves to improve breeding outcomes for members and clients. A number of research agencies are TBA Members to benefit from the relationship with industry. TBA is also a registered Research Service Provider (Australia) which may allow Members to offset research investments in TBA as an additional tax deduction.
For example, in the late 1990's, we commenced developing a database for efficiently using breeding program data. DATAPLAN continues to evolve and be improved to meet the needs of the breeders running tree improvement programs and provide decision making capacity to Members and clients to improve their deployment decisions.
Simultaneously, we sought a collaborative relationship with the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (University of New England) to use their expertise in livestock genetic evaluation systems, to develop TREEPLAN, a forest tree genetic evaluation system. The TREEPLAN software has been enhanced over many years and recently has included analytical capacity to undertake "Single-step" genetic evaluations. This effectively allows TBA to use both phenotypic data (performance observations) and genotypic data to produce a single set of objectively comparable breeding values.
TBA has been involved in many research projects as either an industry funding partner or the research provider (manage funds and research sub-contracts). We have supported and assisted projects in the following areas:
- genetic architecture
- conelet abortion
- breeding objectives (radiata and eucalyptus)
- pine pitch canker
- gene conservation in radiata
- juvenile wood in radiata
- genetic pollution in E. globulus
- wood quality
- hardwood database of trials in Australia
- genetic resources moving with climate change
- matching genotypes to current and future production environments
- myrtle rust
- incorporating genetics into forest valuation models
- genomic selection in eucalypts and pines
TBA acts as a conduit between industry and research agencies to collectively focus research needs which will impact industry outcomes.