Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
Title: Advanced Generation Progeny from Hybrids of Hydrangea macrophylla and Dichroa febrifuga Author
Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 27, 2009
Publication Date: June 20, 2009
Citation: Reed, S.M. 2009. Advanced Generation Progeny from Hybrids of Hydrangea macrophylla and Dichroa febrifuga. Proc. Southern Nursery Assoc. Res. Conf. Vol. 54, p. 358-360. Interpretive Summary: Dichroa febrifuga is an Asian shrub that is closely related to Hydrangea macrophylla, or bigleaf hydrangea. Hybrids between these two species have previously been produced. The purpose of this study was to produce advanced generations with the overall goal of developing plants with a combination of the best features of each parental species. Desirable traits from D. febrifuga include evergreen foliage, persistent blue berries, ability to produce blue flowers independent of aluminum availability, and large individual flowers. In comparison, H. macrophylla is more cold hardy and has larger inflorescences than D. febrifuga, and the showy imperfect flowers found in H. macrophylla and most other members of this genus are absent from D. febrifuga. Viable seed were produced when hybrids were intercrossed to produce second generation filial (F2) progeny or backcrossed to H. macrophylla. Results of this study will be utilized in planning breeding schemes for combining desirable traits from the two species.
Technical Abstract: Dichroa febrifuga is an evergreen shrub that is a member of the Hydrangeaceae. Molecular marker and hybridization data have shown D. febrifuga to be closely related to H. macrophylla. Reciprocal hybrids between H. macrophylla and D. febrifuga were previously obtained and characterized. F2 and BC1 progeny were produced using D. febrifuga × H. macrophylla hybrids in which a diploid cultivar (‘Veitchii’) was used as the H. macrophylla parent. The objective of this study was to investigate if H. macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ x D. febrifuga hybrids possessed female fertility and if advanced generation progeny could be produced from hybrids in which a triploid cultivar (‘Taube’) served as the H. macrophylla parent. Viable seedlings were produced when H. macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ x D. febrifuga hybrids were used as the maternal parent in F2 crosses and when D. febrifuga x H. macrophylla ‘Taube’ plants were intercrossed to produce full sib F2 progeny. Seeds were produced when D. febrifuga x H. macrophylla ‘Taube’ plants were backcrossed as the pistillate parent to H. macrophylla ‘Souvenir du President Doumer’ and ‘Altona’, but only those seedlings that had the diploid cultivar ‘Souvenir du President Doumer’ as a parent survived. Results of this study will be utilized in planning breeding schemes for combining desirable traits from the two species.