Patterns of Genetic Diversity and Nature of the Breeding System in Melaleuca alternifolia (Myrtaceae)
Australian Journal of Botany
40(3) 365 - 375
Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden & Betche) Cheel is harvested from natural stands and plantations for production of Australian tea-tree oil. Genetic variation was examined and outcrossing rates estimated to provide baseline information for breeding and selection programs. The overall genetic diversity (HT = 0.186) is comparable to other regionally distributed Australian tree species. There was a general trend for more isolated populations to have less genetic variation than populations from the centre of the species distribution. The level of differentiation among populations was low (12%), associated with a high outcrossing rate (93%) and high levels of gene flow. Geographic separation of Queensland and New South Wales populations corresponds with genetic distance measures.
© CSIRO 1992