A month ago I said “trees are much more than wood and one of our PhD students at the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury had a look at production of Eucalypts essential oils, particularly cineole”. We could easily see seasonality of production (peak in Spring & Summer) and the difference between juvenile and mature foliage. (Eucalypts essential oil)

Today, fresh from the oven, we have our new article moving from phenotypic variability to the genetic control of 20 essential-oil compounds with exciting names like 1,8-cineole and aromadendrene. A tale of alternative species and products, progeny trials and gas chromatography.

Of the 85 tested E. bosistoana families, seven families possessed breeding values indicating that their oil would meet the British Pharmacopoeia standard specification of a minimum of 70% 1,8-cineole. However, the negative correlation between total oil content and 1,8-cineole concentration indicates that families with higher-quality oil have less oil in their leaves.

Chamira Rajapaksha, Luis A. Apiolaza, Marie A. Squire and Clemens Altaner. 2023. Genetic parameters of essential-oil traits for Eucalyptus bosistoana, Australian Forestry DOI: 10.1080/00049158.2023.2270681 (Open Access)

Negative genetic relationship between cineole yield and total oil production.