SAG REGISTERED NEW POPLAR VARIETIES CREATED BY THE CTA

THE INSCRIPTION IN THE REGISTRATION BOOK OF PROTECTED VARIETIES OF THE AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK SERVICE GRANTS THE TITLE OF BREEDER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TALCA.



July 8, 2016

Six new poplar varieties with strong adaptability characteristics, accelerated growth, low rate of diseases and  high industrial utility, were registered at the Agricultural and Livestock Service and awarded to the Universidad de Talca after being created by its Poplar Technological Center (CTA, in Spanish).

This selection work began in 2002 when researchers from the CTA began a varieties trial program, within the framework of a FONDEF project, executed between 2002 and 2005. It was called clonal trials "of initial determination", established at various sites between the O'Higgins Region (Coinco town) and La Araucanía Region (City of Temuco).

The Director of Technology Transfer, from the Vice President Office for Innovation and Technology Transfer, Patricia Klein, commented that "the SAG, in this case, grants the rights of breeder, implying that it passed all stages of evaluation to see whether it is a distinct, uniform and stable variety. These registers were awarded for a duration of 18 years, which translates into the exclusivity to market these developed varieties".

At the end of the project new genetic rankings were generated, which, although they allowed to identify 20 or 30 varieties with economic potential, six of the ones subjected to trials were chosen to be registered, due to the high cost of this procedure.

Pioneers

"This is the first time in our country that an institution with a team of researchers registers poplars varieties. Indeed, the work done by our technology center is the first serious effort carried out in Chile to study and develop the comprehensive cultivation of hybrid poplar varieties. The specific process for registration of new plant varieties in Chile begins with the vegetative test of new copies and the search of new material. These varieties should possess useful characteristics and of value to the industrial use and for society", explained the Director of the CTA, Francisco Zamudio.

The SAG held, for several years, "periodic audits" to observe the performance of the six varieties. At the Talca Campus, "foundational" demonstration plots were established, where all the features of these trees were recorded, from the more notorious to the more detailed of their tree "architecture", such as conicity and sinuosity of the trunk; angle, number and diameter of the branches; roughness and streaks of the cortex; It is stalked and leaves surface and any relevant detail that had to be regularly reviewed.

Usefulness

Among the most noteworthy usefulness of new varieties is the use of its wood as biomass for the generation of bioenergy and volume growth rate that would make lowering the harvest age from 14 to 10 years. This aspect is considered key to small and medium-sized farmers interested in poplar cultivation, who can see a concrete possibility of obtaining income in a shorter time.

"This is the work of a team of five people who contributed for years on various projects in different tasks. The great technological impact is that if these varieties are planted properly they will produce a more homogeneous wood quality, which is highly appreciated by the small and medium industry in this area. Also they will have a certification of origin identifying them as authentic and selected, which compared with the heterogeneity of the few poplar plantations in the country , it will contribute to an improvement of the quality of the raw material," said Zamudio.

These six varieties were tested in different locations and on average had a good performance. Their planting is recommended throughout Chile’s central zone, where they have always showed better growth and vigor, with little significant presence of fungi and good properties for sawmill wood.

"Our work goes far beyond the Region, as we seek to position growing poplar varieties as the third most important forest resources in the country, and in turn, to deepen its peculiar cultivation characteristics," said Francisco Zamudio.



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