The selection for high rubberwood yielding genotypes in 1995 Hevea germplasm, Rantau Panjang Forest Reserve

Ong Chin Wei, Shamsul Bahri A.R


Rubberwood has become a major source of raw material for furniture manufacturing and wood-based product industries in Malaysia. The increasing demand for rubberwood has triggered Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) search for the high rubberwood yielding genotypes available in Malaysia. However, there are not many genotypes planted in commercial rubber plantations and smallholdings in Malaysia that can produce high wood volume to meet the demand of furniture and wood-base industries. There are also no Hevea wild relatives available in Malaysia to produce rubberwood except the one and only species Hevea brasiliensis. Moreover, the destruction of wild genetic resources of rubber trees (Hevea spp.) in Amazon basin due to mass conversion of native habitat to urban has resulted in irreplaceable loss of much wild genetic resources such as the genotypes that can produce high rubberwood volume. Therefore, an attempt by RRIM in 1995 to put Hevea wild relatives from Amazon basin into conserving genetic resources in Malaysia and making them available for crop improvement especially to produce high rubberwood genotypes. Genotypes and wild relatives that are seen as vigorous and generated high rubberwood yield can be exploited as promising planting material in the RRIM's breeding programmes. This study was intended to identify the most promising rubberwood yielding genotypes and Hevea wild relatives that conserved in 1995 Hevea germplasm, Rantau Panjang Forest Reserve, Batu Arang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Keywords: selections, Hevea spp., germplasm, genotypes

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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