Forest Genetic Resource Retrospect Prospects Biology Essay

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The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Forest Departments and forest corporations of different states, and many universities have selected and established genetic resources. Whereas, collection, maintenance and continuance of accession is carried out, detailed documentation and further studies on these resources are required to determine utility in terms of genetics, bio-technology, silviculture, resistance to disease and pests. Research strategies for determining the genetic base and redundancy, quantifying the genetic shift, identifying genetic contaminants, utilising and providing specific identities for registration and certification are discussed. The role for an apex agency like ICFRE is to coordinate the networking and characterisation of forest genetic resources and the practical benefits of such an approach are presented

FOREST GENETIC RESOURCES FOR TREE IMPROVEMENT

Realizing the importance of production forestry, strategic activities for tree improvement are in progress in the ICFRE, Dehra Dun. Developing appropriate strategies for tree improvement and integrating it with the tree genetics activities of the State Forest Departments is critical. In this approach the emphasis is on species oriented tree improvement programme in collaboration with State Forest Departments. Thus, ICFRE, during the last many years, has developed comprehensive strategies for tree improvement programme for species like Teak, Acacias, Neem, Dalbergia, Pines, Casuarina, Bamboos and Gmelina. The approach is in terms of development of Seed Production Areas (SPA), Clonal Seed Orchards (CSO), Seedling Seed Orchards (SSO) select germplasm for progenitors and clonal accessions of high value. Several hundred trees have also been identified as candidate plus trees propagated vegetatively and established as germplasm bank (World Bank Project, 2000) in India (Gurumurthi and Kumar, 1996, Kumar and Gurumurthi, 2000, Varghese et al., 2000, Balasubramanian and Gurumurthi, 2001). Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, TFRI, Jabalpur, AFRI, Jodhpur, RFRI, Jorhat and IFGTB, Coimbatore have assembled different populations of various species. In addition, international provenances of neem, casuarina, eucalyptus and acacias have also been assembled. National level provenances for various species like Dalbergia sissoo, Pines, acacias have also been assembled. Improved seeds from Clonal Seed Orchards and Seedling Seed Orchards of Casuarina, Eucalyptus and Neem are already made available for planting to user agencies.

State Forest Departments - Apart from the efforts of ICFRE, Forest Departments of different states and forest corporations in different states and many universities which have strong schools of forestry have also selected and established germplasm in collaboration with ICFRE. There are several reports of germplasm collection in bamboo from FRI, TFRI, RFRI, KFRI and State Forest Departments. These population/germplasm are highly valuable and need to be conserved, in addition, accessions added.

Tree Based Industries - A number of tree based industries like AP Paper Mill, Rajahmundry, J.K. Paper Mills, Rayagada, Seshasayee paper Board, Erode, West Coast Paper, Dandeli, ITC Bhadrachalam, Harihar Polyfibres, Karnataka, Hindustan Newsprint Ltd., Kerala have also collected germplasm for their requirements interactively with ICFRE. Amongst the germplasm developed by ITC Bhadrachalam, the clones of eucalypts are widely planted by farmers, corporations and industries. The ICFRE institutions have identified several plus trees and from stressed environments that can form the genetic base from various tree improvement activities (Gurumurthi and Kumar, 1996, Kumar and Gurumurthi, 2000, Balasubramanian, 2001, Balasubramanian and Gurumurthi, 2001)

Steps involved in developing the genetic resources are exploration, collection, brief evaluation, breeding, multiplication and conservation. The approaches followed for exotic species includes introduction as well. In case of indigenous species like Pinus roxburgii the approach followed is based on location, management and maintenance followed by improvement strategies. Complete data base for seed stands and their conversion into seed production areas (SPAs), seedling seed orchards (SSOs), clonal seed orchards (CSOs) and vegetative multiplication garden (VMG) along with complete list of clones multiplied vegetatively for different species is maintained in individual institutes.

TREE GENETIC RESOURCE FOR TREE IMPROVEMENT

A tremendous effort has been put in and the populations are on the ground. It needs networking, integration and development. Many of these collections can be of use as base population for tree improvement programme and production of high yielding varieties or clones. Every institute has developed tree improvement programmes and implemented them at different levels. In select species, hybridising orchards are also in position but the uniformity in planning and management is lacking. During the last decade dramatic changes are taking place in tree improvement and forestry improvement research as it is impacting vital resources like water, soil, reservoirs, and catchments and their ecology and environment. The rapid change in climate and global warming is bringing about changes in the eco system and is compiling the researchers and policy makers to change the action plan in forestry through the approaches of conservation and productivity improvement vertically for yield increase per unit of time and space. This necessitate the need for looking at the existing forest genetic resources and devising new methods for development advanced forest genetic resources. Though new strategies need to be developed the already available resources need to be re-examined and appropriately dovetailed into perspective planning. Globally therefore the existing forest genetic resource developed as forest reproductive materials such as seeds, clones in different type of orchards is under going re-examination, evaluation and documentation. India which to many leads in forestry research particularly in teak also needs to re-look the existing resources particularly those developed in collaboration with State Forest Departments that should function as the basic material for all tree improvement activities nationally and integrating globally to meet the millennium challenges and the need for enhancing productivity. The high yielding clones and improved seeds can thus form the basic material for improvement. Therefore the time has come to very closely interact with State Forest Departments for assessing the genetic resources and incrementally acting upon them for research and improvement at the level of ICFRE by obtaining funds from external sources for the incremental research and development. Need for FGR to be continuously upgraded is an essential requirements. Therefore strategies should be put in place for registration, evaluation, documentation, characterisation and intervention of the existing FGRs not only to determine the gap in knowledge for the changed requirements but also plan prospectively for future action.

In view of the fact that the trees have long rotation period and several years of delay from germination to flowering and almost all are cross pollinated, the clonal material can be effectively used for introgression of genes for different traits. In fact, biotechnology will play much greater role in tree improvement in future. " Tree Improvement " to " trait improvement" for "product" is the approach. It can provide trees tailored for cellulose, lignin, sodic and saline soils, even ideotypes for agroforestry. Support is required to inventorise, evaluate and characterise the germplasm and network it as Tree Genetic resource for which a massive effort is needed. Converting the germplasm into tree genetic resource is a requirement for production forestry.

Whereas collection, maintenance and continuance of accession to the germplasm developed through planting stock improvement is carried out by different Institutes of ICFRE, detailed studies on these germplasms are required to determine the importance of the collections in terms of genetic base and redundancy in order to maintain optimum level of variation to achieve cost reduction. The approach is to evaluate and characterise the genetic material to determine utility.

Trees and forests and their vast diversity in distribution, organismic networks, species and genotypes have significant ecological, economic, environmental, climatic and socio-economic values Wood is an important raw material for building and construction, the pulp and paper industry, and energy production sequestration of atmospheric carbon is an important function in mitigating climate change, air filtration, water and soil conservation as well as their role in local climate (micro climate), are important ecosystem functions and services. In addition forests are of high value for recreation and tourism and have cultural and spiritual significance.

31% of the total global land area or more than 4 billion ha are covered by forests. 1,2 billion of these are used for production of wood and non wood products. Additional 949 million ha are dedicated to multiple uses including soil and water conservation. Managed forests including commercial plantations are increasing and now comprise around 7% of the total forested area.. Accordingly forest trees especially those suited for plantations are in the focus of advanced breeding strategies including genetic engineering. (FAO 2010),

According to FAO, a tree is: "a woody perennial with a main stem, or, in the case of coppice, with several stems, having a more or less definite crown". For FAO bamboos, palms and other woody plants if meeting the above criteria are included into the definition of a tree (FAO 2005). Tree plants occur in many different orders and families of plants. Most species of trees today are flowering plants belonging to the Angiosperms and Gymnosperms.

The focus of forest or plantation tree genetic modification includes herbicide resistence, wood composition (eg lignin), growth rates and phenology (including flowering and fruiting) (Verwer et al. 2010), insect/pest tolerance, or abiotic stress tolerance whereas key aspects with fruit trees are resistence to pathogens and abiotic stress together with phenology. By far the most transformations and trials have been done with poplars (Canada Norway Workshop 2007), followed by eucalyptus and pine. High fecundity (reproduction capacity) together with seed dormancy, multiple and very effective distribution pathways of propagules, extended possibilities of vegetative reproduction and high viability are important aspects of their worldwide adaptive capacities and distribution. Forest trees are valued for their large biomass production and contribution to ecological and landscape architecture. Root systems are extensive and are inextricably enmeshed with mycorrhiza, symbiotic associations with fungi. In addition (forest) trees are involved in broad interactions with further organisms from decomposers to birds and wildlife. Given all these aspects quite often trees are described as constituting an ecosystem in themselves.

Breeding and cultivation of forest trees is a quite novel approach of resource utilisation (Campbell et al. 2003). In Europe, tree propagation and forest management commenced in the middle ages, but only since the 19th century, forest trees are being systematically adapted to the needs of wood production (Mathews & Campbell 2000). For this reason, even in commonly grown species, the level of domestication is still low.

Genetic and phenotypic characterisation and stability

During a tree lifespan these organisms experience multiple abiotic and biotic impacts and environmental changes with plasticity in genomic and phenotypic reactions considered to play an important role in such adaptive responses. In addition, natural gene silencing and highly variable expression levels during the long lifespan of trees have to be considered. (Ahuja 2009; Harfouche etal. 2011). There is evidence that gene/environment interactions play an important role (Strauss et al. 2004)

To accelerate breeding and multiplication approaches in trees clonal and vegetative propagation has been developed including tissue culture and micro propagation (Giri et al. 2004). Embryogenic tissues turned out to be the most promising in regenerating plantlets (Frankenhuyzen & Beardmore 2004). Somaclonal variation in propagative and clonal tissue culture is very common (Rani & Raina 2000) Consequently clonal fidelity is an important consideration in propagation of trees. Transformation protocols are mainly based on Agrobacterium tumefaciens and to a lesser extent on ballistic methods (Frankenhuyzen & Beardmore 2004, Harfouche et al. 2011). These, as well as transformation related tissue culture, are sources for the introduction of mutational variation. Back-crossing has been suggested to reduce the presence of transformation induced mutations, which is a greater challenge for trees than for annual crop plants (Flachowsky et al. 2009).

Dispersal and distribution pathways

Trees have developed a multitude of ways to reproduce and distribute via seeds and vegatative propagules. Propagules are often designed to spread far and wid, (eg. by wind, but also by water, animals, insects) with large amounts of pollen and seed per individuals (Williams 2010) Seeds inside fruits may travel as commodities around the globe and be released at the place of consumption being road margins, railway roads or touristic areas, as well as local gardens.

Points to consider

Pollen dispersal:

Pollen viability and pollination specifics;

Possible spatial pollen distribution;

Timing of pollen production vs. receptivity of female flowers

Mechanism developed in some species to ensure selfing.

Seed dispersal:

Seed dormancy and viability

Abiotic distribution (wind, water, floods etc.)

Biotic distribution via animals including humans e.g., seed dispersal via commodity fruits;

Vegetative dispersal (including via exported or imported wood/branches);

Points to consider

Rotation period;

Degree and type of management;

Evaluation of management strategies;

Monitoring results of field trials.

ACTION REQUIRED ON BASIC DATA ON THE ABOVE POINTS

Collate all the activities on Tree improvement research in India

What are the activities on specific tree breeding work in progress particular with reference to specific traits.

Identify the traits that can not be improved by genetic means and that require molecular approaches.

Whether such molecular programmes are in progress in tree research organisations and in the research wings of State Forest Departments

Whether such molecular programmes are in progress in the industrial sector that use trees for paper, pulp, mach industry,plywood industry etc,. Do the have plan to import Transgenics. If so modalities.

Are there systems in place for registering the seed and reproductive propogules that are produced for planting in plantation programmes. If not when will such registration will be put in place in time bound manner.

Points to consider

Degree and type of management;

Evaluation of management strategies;

Monitoring propogule production

Whether seeds and propogules are being certified for their quality are not.

If genetic improvement is to take place, the improvement should be over a bench mark of quality. Whether such bench mark has been developed for at least species of economic importance.

Has basic biology documents prepared for trees that are being targeted for improvement.This is very important to determe targeted approaches for molecular biology in tree specis as they are of very long duration

Studies on pollen movement are very important for Pollen viability and pollination specifics as possible spatial pollen distribution, timing of pollen production vs. receptivity of female flowers mechanism developed in some species to ensure selfing

The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and the research institutions under it can provide information on these aspects and have initiated sudies in some of the above areas like registration of propogules, genetic improvement and can provide detailed information. Tree improvement per se whether through silvicultural,genetic,breeding and biotechnology must keep all the poins detailed above as trees whether in nature or plantations or orchards influence systems and the envronment and are also affected by the vegatations in the environment

Therefore investigations are required for

Estimating the extent of variability in terms of morphological descriptors, genetic behaviour in relation to environment.

Determining per cent variability in the germplasm compared to that of natural population.

Determining the extent of variation that is required to be maintained in exotic germplasm.

Mass multiplication through macro/micropropagation as well as through development of progenitors of select germplasm.

Determining germplasm traits for requirement of industry and farmers

Determining the adaptive traits of species/collection/provenance for salinity, alkalinity, disease and pest resistance.

Determining the impact of improvement in the environment and the influence of vegetation around on the population under improvement

RESEARCH AREAS FOR STRENGTHENING THE TREE GENETIC RESOURCES

Genetic evaluation of germplasm and assembly of core collections though populations are derived from specified area or provenance, and trials established, proper classification and identity is essential. Introduction of seeds from the place of origin where interspecific hybrid occur in nature, for e.g., in Australia where both Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus camaldulensis are found, seed accessions derived can be interspecific hybrids. To develop proper strategies it is necessary to carry out genetic evaluation of such germplasm and validate core collections as the origin itself could be from hybrids. When core collections are used for introduction of accessions to other places, it is important to develop methods for validation of such collections in early stages. In fact, in tree improvement and tree genetics, such studies of validation are extremely important as otherwise it will be many years before the discrepancy is detected. It is important to monitor the propagules derived for core collections, whether it is from Seedling Seed Orchards or Clonal Seed Orchards. Molecular markers like AFLP have been shown to be more accurate in such studies than morphological markers (Akagi, 1997). Amongst the molecular markers, SSRs and AFLPs were found to have high value for information content (Powell et al., 1996). Molecular markers can also be developed to determine the functional diversity. Molecular markers have been used for classifying genetic diversity in rice germplasm (Akagi, 1997, Virke et al., 2000), soybeen germplasm (Powell et al, 1996), Barley accession (Russell, 1997) and Wild bean (Tohme et al., 1996). Such studies are common in breeding programme and release of varieties in agriculture. No such studies are conducted in forestry species. It is important to carry out such studies in germplasms where selected materials are allowed to interbreed and the seeds derived from such population are distributed for mass production.

Distribution of genetic variation: The genetic variation in tree improvement is often accepted if the introductions are from provenances and populations, which however may not always be true at genome level. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to determine the extent of variation in ex situ population and further compare it with the distribution of genetic variation in in situ population (Francisco-Ortega et al., 1992, Loos, 1994, Muluvi et al., 1999). This provides an approach to determine the extent of variation required for population improvement the extent of redundancy present in the population, which in turn decides the population sizes. In other words, strategies to maintain optimal variation with minimal population size needs to be determined. Yasodha et al, 2001, could quantitatively assess provenance level variations in Casuarina equisetifolia using ISSR and FISSR markers. There is need to determine the extent of genetic variation for species native to our country viz. teak, Pinus roxburgii, Dalbergia sissoo etc to devise in situ conservation strategies. Acquisition of germplasm is thus optimized through sampling strategies, which also identifies the gaps in acquisition (Kesseli et al., 1991) Management of these germplasm requires considerable research inputs through development of descriptors for economic and plantation characteristics followed by genetic analysis which is further strengthened through marker analyses like micro satellites. These methods are effectively followed in conjunction with morphological traits in many agricultural species for characterization. Such studies are almost nonexistent in forestry, but has become essential in view of plant varieties protection act.

Quantification of genetic shift: The population of tree species are maintained at different levels namely seed production areas, seedling seed orchards, clonal seed orchards or in some species hybridizing orchards and clonal gardens. The assemblage of population is an indication of different levels of genetic shift in the population except in case of clonal gardens. The probability of genetic drift in segregating population is high due to cross-pollination. Specification for prevention of pollen contamination is spelt out. Yet, the genetic contamination and drift in the population needs to be monitored and determined (Kidwell et al., 1994). Genetic drift studies are essential to maintain the shift at higher levels. The probability of genetic drift in wind pollinated population is higher compared to that in insect pollinated population. Quantitative genetic studies provide approaches to determine such drifts (Schittenhelm et al., 1997). However, in case of tree species where generational cycles are much longer, it is necessary to develop strategies to determine the extent of genetic drift with in the population. They can also be used in conjunction with AFLP studies so that the minimal changes occur in genetic diversity particularly in case of introduced populations (Kidwell et al., 1994). In land race populations such approaches needs to be followed for introduced species like casuarina, eucalyptus and acacia to determine the effective population size. This is equally important in conservation strategies as well (Parzies et al, 2000).

Identification of genetic contaminants: The tree improvement strategies, at advanced levels of population like clonal seed orchards, hybridizing orchards are susceptible to genetic contamination. This is because population of desired accessions are only allowed to breed and the probability of pollen carried through wind dispersal can cause contaminants. This can often be monitored through sample studies in seeds derived from well-maintained populations (Tanksley and Jones, 1981). Genetic contamination studies are also essential for clonal accession wherein all clone need to be fingerprinted and maintained and any misidentification can be quickly detected wherever suspicion arises (Steiner et al., 1997). In tree species over a period of time somatic embryogenesis will become a tool for development of improved / genetically modified population. In such approaches methods need to be evolved to study the consistency and stability of somatic embryogenesis in derived population. Such studies have been carried out in hybrid poplars (Han et al., 2000).

Development of management strategies: Comprehensive tree improvement programmes are often undertaken at the level of silviculturists and very often various population and accession are introduced/ developed on empirical basis. This is because scientific tools are not available to evaluate and characterize the introduction / populations. This explains why tree genetics / tree improvement all over the world is far behind that in agricultural crop improvement. Though quantitative genetics provides many methods, the combinations required in quantitative genetics that needs to be validated statistically is often at variance with what is practiced in the field. Very often the tree improvement practices are constrained by inadequacy of land and inadequate availability of accessions. Therefore, even the best management strategies followed in silviculture does not provide the desired results. Two major problems in tree improvement namely, long years to complete breeding generation, limited accuracy of selection methods of superior trees for quantitatively inherited traits of industrial and environmental relevance can be significantly mitigated by direct identification of genotypes at early stages of tree development using a diagnostic system based on molecular markers co- segregating with traits of interest. It is thus essential to develop a combination of genetics and molecular markers to establish improvement strategies and relate the same to conservation strategies for in situ populations (Chalmers et al., 1994, Del Rio et al., 1997, Krauss, 2000).

Utilization of molecular markers for functional diversity and for genetic enhancement are two areas of great importance for industrial plantations and wasteland development. Molecular markers have been used to expedite the screening of germplasm resources for pest resistance and to facilitate the introgression of resistance genes in to susceptible lines (Mayer et al., 1997, King et al., 1999), for diagnostic purposes (Chen et al., 1998) and for predicting the performance of relevant traits. Mathish et al. 2001, have devised a DNA fingerprint database management strategy using Microsoft Access 2000 for corroborating fingerprints of clones maintained in germplasms. As clones will be introduced in larger numbers through macro and micropropagation there will be an absolute need to study and document the fingerprints of important clones. It will become the basic necessity as evidence for intellectual property rights as well as to provide adequate support for protection of plant varieties particularly for tree species. The major policy approaches for protection of plant varieties and farmers right bill of 2001 is mostly concerned with agricultural crops. Plantation managers, whether in the forest department or private nurseries will increasingly depend on trait improved stock in their seedling / clones and in such cases it is important to determine the parameters for certification of such stock. In fact there will be an absolute necessity to define the plant quality standards in terms of physical and genetic quality.

All these investigations will provide leads for

Methods for determining the value of the tree germplasm

Economic production of genetic resources

Development of parameters for determining the economic potential for different end use management.

Determine the physical and genetical quality of seeds and compare the same with less improved and unimproved population of sub-species taxa.

Planting stock value derived from improved population.

Development of nursery practices for quality propagules with defined standards and partially defined pedigrees.

Quantification of propagules that can be produced annually and the extent of the stock that can be provided for plantation activities.

Developing package of nursery practices and specific nursery infrastructure for such quality propagules.

This approach will provide basis to develop specific identities for

Registered propagules (Registration ID for source identified seeds)

Certified propagules (Certified ID for clonal seed orchards).

Hybrid propagules (Hybrid ID for full sibs).

Genetic certification (Genetic ID for clones, micropropagated plants)

Providing certification will help in developing the basis for plant quality standards in nurseries. It will facilitate the State Forest Departments, Corporations and industries to develop standards for release of planting materials. Therefore, an apex agency like ICFRE needs to be provided with funds and responsibilities for networking and development of National Bureau of Forest Genetic Resources and evaluation and characterization of elite germplasm.

This will enable ICFRE institutes to

Prepare a database of all the materials available on the ground for various species and provide methods for evaluation and characterisation.

Network the germplasm collections for various species with different states through the research institutions under it. Already the programme of improved planting stock is on the ground and will be utilized for the purpose.

Develop species network for industries in improvement of their germplasm and maintaining their own trials. Evaluation and characterisation of such germplasm will be done by the respective ICFRE institutes.

The strategy when implemented will have a multiplier effect in terms of production of propagules of desired quality and adequate quantity. It can also predict productivity. Adding quality to volume in trees is a necessity not only to provide high value products but also for conservation programme in terms of monitoring and management, both in in situ, ex situ and in production populations. In fact, this approach provides opportunities for the forester, organized scientists of forest research, resource managers in state department, private nurseries, micropropagation parks, tree based industries and farmers to work together and optimize the effort and maximize the yield. The entire cooperative facility would become a system to absorb the advancement in biotechnology innovatively and adaptively for tree improvement through nonconventional programmes, like engineered plants for drought tolerance, salt tolerance, pest and disease resistance in addition to scaling up the hybrids that are produced through controlled pollination. Such cooperative approach would lay foundation for developing infrastructure and human resource and rapidly transfer quality products at user level, like forest departments and farmers. The approach will contribute to rationalisation of genetic resource collections and increase the efficiency of resource management.

ROAD MAP FOR FOREST GENETICS MANAGEMENT NETWORK

As a first step, it is necessary to get the available data on these species in the form of seed orchards, seed production areas, clonal seed orchards and other reproductive materials.

Prepare for Registration of these areas species wise

- Every state may be encouraged to apply for registration of their select area.

- A proforma needs to be designed separately, species wise, level of improvement done. This proforma needs to be developed and circulated to all the ICFRE institute and NPD will do the needful for developing a consensus document.

- This consensus document will need to be put on the website of ICFRE.

- ICFRE will create a separate web format for FGRMN that will be put the documents such as under

Consultative workshop on strategies for formulation of FGRMN.

Recommendation of the workshop

Priority species that will be taken up in the Phase-I and Phase-II along with the networking partners.

All the related documents, publication.

- Guidelines for registration of different types of Seed Orchards, Clonal Orchards need to be prepared. This will be coordinated by NPD by allotting species to different institutes that will function as coordinating partners

- Each institute of ICFRE must come out with species guidelines

- The approach will be provide documents for

Application for Registration

Preparation of self assessment document

Verification of the sources that need to be registered.

- Registration is essential for its being used under Seed bill/ Forestry reproductive material bill, that may be passed in parliament soon. Therefore it is necessary that, ICFRE and FGRMN network has the consensus document on guidelines and procedures ready for presentation and discussion which even otherwise is essential.

- The guidelines and management practices should be simple and in line with practices already being followed, however, FGRMN will evolve a unifying document that will facilitate documentation for Registration.

- This will also require a self assessment proforma that will be designed by FGRMN in consultation with NPD who will circulate to all the nodal institutes and nodal officers in the state and finalize the same.

- A meeting of all nodal officers in respective institutes needs to be held to finally decide on a acceptable but flexible format that may very slighter from species to species and region to region.

Once this proforma is in place. The institutes under ICFRE in collaboration with respective state departments will constitute Regional panel for Registration. All these details need to be put on a web site, that will be designated as FGRMN, Website.

All forms, guidelines, applications format will be put on this website.

The accreditation panel will consist of two members from the institute one each for the respective SFD at least one retired CCF, retired DCF 5-8 Scientists as members with one member secretary from the respective institute.

Methodology for registration will involve

Receiving application

Scrutinizing appropriately

Arranging of site visit

Examining all documented procedures.

Qualitatively and quantitatively assess the data provided.

- The verification committee will consist of one member of the respective institute, two members form accreditation panel of the respective institute who will also finalize the visit to the area along with details provided in the self assessment proforma after mutual consent with the SFD concerned.

- The Committee during the visit will assess in detail the seed/propagule production area verify all the documentation available. ( There may be a need to provide training on documentation, if one already does not exist).

- If a documentation exists it needs to be rationalized in relation to a species for the whole country. It is also necessary to develop the species wise standard operation procedures for propagule and production and management system. This approach requires detailed discussion and debate. (Basic SOP-for SPA, SSO, CSO and VMG. need to be prepared. Before preparation of SOP, back up document to be prepared and provided.

Species detail for information documents:

This is a base line species document essentially descriptive in terms of morphological, anatomical, reproductive characters, the genus, family and biology. Briefly ecology, biology distribution must be stated additionally, tree management, germplasm management, pests and disease also must also be stated. List of further reading must also be provided. These are available in public domain and can be obtained. I have the details of the 15 species that is selected for FGR.

Next Step is to convert all the species documents into biology documents. As present we are dealing with trees 15 species to begin with detailed biology documents for each species need to be developed. This is because, the species are being improved though different steps of development, viz. Silvicultural improvement, tree improvement, genetic improvement trait improvement and finally active germplasm development and later molecular strategies. Even for first step improvement, base line data for unimproved population under zonal, edaphic and environmental conditions are necessary to determine the amplitude of variation that exists nationally. Based on this genetic improvement will begin or the ones already developed will be documented.

Therefore biology documents though has similarly with species document, it will be have different focus and will completely detail all the available information, under the following tentative heads.

General description

Botany

Habitat

Taxonomy

Cytology

Prevalent species, related ones

Centres of origin/diversity

Natural distribution, evolution migration

Reproductive biology

Mating system, gene flow

Seed production

Natural regeneration

Genetics and genomics including cytology, chromosome normal variability.

Genetic variability

Population level variability

Individual level variability

Crossability

Genetic improvement work done in India

Genomics, sequencing, if any even at international level.

Utilization, market, economics

Industries using the species, if any

Organizations working in India

All references.

The species document is available and for conversion into biological documents.

All these are called baseline material that is required for documenting the existing resources and for improvement to determine

Extent of improvement over baseline on yield

Traits (one may improve a trait without improving or even decreasing yield)

Traits for biotic and abiotic requirements

These details decide the present status of genetic resources, at unimproved and at various levels of improvement. In our country improved or modified trees occur/improved at the following levels.

Selection

SPA

SSO

CSO

Genetic up gradation

Genetic pyramiding

For those factors that can not be pyramided genetically (that need to be defined with reasons) molecular and biotech approaches will have to be followed in which case promoters, selection markers, number of copies that need to incorporated, where required gene silencing need to be defined with its possible impact on roots, root fusion, rhizosphere and the microbes associated with the same, related species and genera where gene flow can occur, pollen biology, movement, insect and associated pests. All these can be determined from biology document.

A Separate Resource Improvement network will be formed across ICFRE institutes and even involving Scientists and foresters from outside ICFRE to develop network projects in these areas. Again, this is possible to design only when, the FGR is validated, registered networked and the gaps identified for further improvement.

Therefore scientists need to be immediately identified across the ICFRE and each of them be given one species to develop biological documents. Each one will be a comprehensive book and must be prepared and publish within 3 months at the most. It should not be a voluminous book but a COMPREHENSIVE BASE DOCUMENT that should include and additional aspect of

Development of Network themes and partners.

Once the theme is in place identity scientists, foresters, SFDs and NGOs and develop a brief network proposal, stating facility requirement and time frame. At first, a theme document of 4-5 pages will be developed. It will be vetted by appropriate committee and presentation made to different funding agencies, obtain funds for brainstorming and later project wise and present for funding. The project should not be for more than five years develop conservation with industries that have DSIR recognized facilities for desired species.

Develop consortium with International groups and species specific/function specific networks for obtaining International funding.

For all these approaches, the National project Director must became a part of organizational structure and post created for this FGR and should be placed at ICFRE headquarters at Dehra dun. Further more, all the existing All India Coordinated Project must be reworked in much greater detail and made into difference components live improvement, genetics, markers development etc., based on the details available in baseline document.

Thus a national centre for registration and certification system for seed and propagule sources will be created

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REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

Akagi H, Yokozeki Y, Inagaki A and Fujimura T (1997). Highly polymorphic microsatellites of rice

consist of AT repeats, and a classification of closely related cultivars with these microsatellite loci. \

Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 94: 61-67.

Ahuja,M.R. (2009) Transgene stability and dispersal in forest trees. Trees Vol. 23 pp. 1125-1135

Begon, M. Townsend, C.R. and Harper, J.L. 2006. Ecology - From Individuals to Ecosystems, Fourth Edition. Blackwell Publishing

Balasubramanian A and Gurumurthi K (2001). Genetic divergence in clones of Casuarina equistifolia In: \

Proceedings of the Workshop cum Peer Review on Casuarina (Compiled by K. Gurumurthi). October 8-9,

2001. Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore. pp 73 - 84.

Balasubramanian, A (2001). Screening for salinity resistance in clones of Casuarina equisetifolia Forst.

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PLANTING STOCK IMPROVEMENT UNDER ICFRE*

Institute

Seed Production Area (in hectares)

Clonal Seed Orchard (in hectares)

Seedling Seed Orchard (in hectares)

Vegetative Multiplication Garden (in hectares)

FRI, Dehradun

181.8

28.0

25.2

4.1

IFGTB, Coimbatore

82.3

27.7

38.3

13.5

IWST, Bangalore

120.0

12.0

34.0

6.0

TFRI, Jabalpur

425.0

41.0

83.5

10.0

AFRI, Jodhpur

200.0

29.0

55.0

5.0

RFRI, Jorhat

24.0

12.8

6.0

6.0

HFRI, Shimla

32.5

8.0

12.0

2.0

CSF & ER, Allahabad

60.0

3.0

30.5

0.0

IFP, Ranchi

100.0

5.0

60.0

10.0

Total

1225.6

166.5

344.4

56.6

*Major species are Eucalyptus, Teak, Acacia, Neem, Dalbergia , pines, Casuarina, Bamboos, Anogeissus, Gmelina, Prosopis cineraria

REQUIREMENT OF DIFFERENT PLANTING MATERIAL

Name of the species

Seedlings raised from certified sources

(million)

Clonal materials

(million)

Seedlings raised by normal practices

(million)

Total seedling raised

(million)

Area

(million ha)

Eucalyptus

150

200

450

800

0.40

Bamboos

250

300

650

1,200

0.60

Acacias

300

100

600

1,000

0.50

Albizias

18

60

360

600

0.30

Prosopis cineraria

160

-

370

530

0.20

Prosopis juliflora

320

-

750

1,070

0.60

Casuarina equisetifolia

32

32

96

160

0.08

Dalbergia sissoo

16

16

128

160

0.08

Conifers

80

8

312

400

0.20

Teak

120

60

60

240

0.12

TOTAL

1,448

936

3,776

6,160

3.08

Priority species for different states for the planting Stock Improvement programme

State

Coordinating institute

Priority Species for the establishment of…

Seed Production Area (SPA)

Clonal Seed Orchards

Seedling Seed Orchards

Vegetative Multiplication Garden

UP, Haryana & Punjab

FRI, Dehra Dun

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Eucalyptus

Tereticornis

Pinus

Roxburghii

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Eucalyptus

Tereticornis

Pinus

Roxburghii

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Eucalyptus

Tereticornis

Pinus

Roxburghii

Eucalyptus

Tereticornis

Pinus roxburghii

TN, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar

IFGTB, Coimbatore

Eucalyptus spp.

Acacia spp.

Tectona grandis

Eucalyptus spp.

Casuarina

spp.

Tectona grandis

Eucalyptus spp.

Casuarina spp.

Tectona grandis

Eucalyptus spp.

Casuarina spp.

Tectona grandis

Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh

IWST, Bangalore

Tectona grandis

Eucalyptus

Camaldulensis

Casuarina spp.

Eucalyptus spp.

Tectona grandis

Casuarina spp

Eucalyptus spp.

Tectona grandis

Casuarina

spp.

Tectona grandis

Bamboo

MP, Maharashtra & Orissa

TFRI, Jabalpur

Tectona grandis

Casuarina

Equisetifolia

Tectona grandis

Casuarina

spp.

Albizia procera

Bamboo

Tectona grandis

Casuarina

spp.

Albizia procera

Bamboo

Tectona grandis

Casuarina

Spp.

Albizia procera

Bamboo

Rajasthan Gujarat

AFRI,

Jodhpur

Tectona grandis

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Acacia nilitica

Eucalyptus spp.

Tectona grandis

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Acacia nilitica

Eucalyptus spp.

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Acacia nilitica

Eucalyptus spp.

Dalbergia

sissoo

Eucalyptus spp.

J&K Himachal Pradesh

HFRI, Shimla

Pinus roxburghii

Dalbergia sissoo

Pinus spp.

Dalbergia sissoo

Pinus spp.

Dalbergia sissoo

Populus spp.

UP

ISF&ER, Allahabad

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Eucalyptus spp.

Acacia spp.

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Tectona grandis

Eucalyptus

Bihar, Orissa W.B

IFP, Ranchi

Acacia auriculiformis

Eucalyptus spp.

Acacia spp.

Eucalyptus spp.

Dalbergia

Sissoo

Gmelina

Arborea

Eucalyptus spp.

Paulownia spp.

Gmelina arborea

Bamboo

Provenance trials establishment by ICFRE

States of India

Species

UP, Punjab & Haryana

TN, Kerala & A&N Land

MP, Maharashtra, Orissa & Goa

Rajasthan, Gujarat & D &N

Karnataka, AP, A&N

Bihar, WB, Orissa

Acacia nilotica

27

34

46

14

-

-

Azadirachta indica

-

-

26

19

-

-

Pinus roxburghii

23

-

-

-

-

-

Dalbergia sissoo

31

-

10

10

-

-

Prosopis cineraria

6

-

-

-

-

-

Casuarina equisetifolia

-

40

-

-

-

-

Eucalyptus grandis

-

17

-

-

-

10

E.tereticornis

-

5

4

-

-

-

E.Camaldulensis

-

13

16

-

-

15

E.microtheca

-

20

-

-

-

-

Acacia lebbeck

-

13

-

-

-

-

A.mangium

-

-

13

-

-

-

Santalum album

-

-

9

-

-

-

Acacia procera

-

-

11

-

-

-

Pongamia pinnata

-

-

7

-

-

-

Jatropha curcus

-

-

25

-

-

-

Dendrocalamus

Strictus

-

-

11

-

-

-

Tecomella undulate

-

-

-

13

-

-

Gmelina araborea

32

-

-

13

-

-

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