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Type: Thesis
Title: Acacia saligna as a sustainable agroforestry crop for southern Australia: a genetic assessment.
Author: Millar, Melissa Ann
Issue Date: 2008
School/Discipline: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine : Agricultural and Animal Science
Abstract: Acacia saligna is a native species complex with a widespread natural distribution throughout the south west of Western Australia. It is being developed as an agroforestry crop to produce low value, bulk biomass products in the low rainfall agricultural areas of southern Australia. This thesis develops knowledge to assist the domestication and breeding program of A. saligna as an agroforestry cultivar. It also furthers development of a risk management plan for utilisation of the Acacia saligna species complex. Highly informative microsatellite markers for A. saligna were developed for use in mating system studies, paternity analysis and in the development of a diagnostic tool for the identification of individuals and populations at the subspecific level. Microsatellites developed in other Acacia species were also screened for utility in A. saligna. A high level of outcrossing (mean multilocus outcrossing rate of 0.98) and little true selfing was found for a planted stand of A. saligna subspecies saligna. Paternity analysis indicated heterogeneity in pollen clouds experienced by maternal trees and an essentially random pattern of mating within the stand. Inter-subspecific pollen immigration into the stand from trees of subspecies lindleyi was detected for 14% of progeny analysed and occurred over distances greater than 1500 m. Extensive intra-subspecific pollen-mediated gene flow is maintained between remnant natural populations of A. saligna subspecies lindleyi, and a high level of inter-subspecific pollen immigration from trees in the planted stand of A. saligna subspecies saligna was detected in remnant populations of subspecies lindleyi (32% of analysed progeny) occurring over distances greater than 1500 m. Polymorphic microsatellite markers used to investigate genetic structuring within A. saligna revealed a high level of genetic divergence between subspecific entities congruent with a taxonomic reclassification of the species complex. Selected microsatellite markers also proved suitable for use as a rapid diagnostic tool that can be used to characterise populations into one of the proposed subspecies of A. saligna with high probability. These results indicate that high levels of outcrossing and essentially random patterns of mating that maintain genetic diversity in seed crops should be achievable with the suitable management of seed production stands of A. saligna. Appropriate management techniques that limit genetic contamination into seed production stands will need to be employed to achieve this goal. Management techniques will also be required to minimise the risk of genetic contamination from stands planted for agroforestry purposes into remnant natural populations. Isolation distances greater than 1500 m between genetically divergent agroforestry crops and natural populations are suggested in both cases and key areas of further research are suggested.
Advisor: Sedgley, Margaret
Nuberg, Ian Kinloch
Byrne, M.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, 2008
Subject: Agroforestry Australia.
Keywords: Acacia saligna; agroforestry; risk assessment; gene flow; microsatellite; diagnostic markers; paternity analysis
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
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