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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

Title: Intergeneric hybrids in Rosaceae subtribe Pyrinae (formerly subfamily Maloideae) at USDA genebank

Author
item Postman, Joseph

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2010
Publication Date: December 31, 2011
Citation: Postman, J.D. 2011. Intergeneric hybrids in Rosaceae subtribe Pyrinae (formerly subfamily Maloideae) at USDA genebank. Acta Horticulturae. 918:937-943.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA Agricultural Research Service maintains germplasm collections representing world diversity of pear, quince and medlar at its National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Smaller collections of serviceberry, hawthorn, mountain-ash, and other related genera are also conserved at this genebank. The plant group that includes apples and pears, also includes an unusually large number of intergeneric hybrids. Some of these unusual hybrids between distantly related plants had natural origins and others resulted from intentional cross pollinations. A mountain-ash × pear hybrid has been known since the early 1400s and a hawthorn x medlar hybrid since the late 1800s. A pear x quince hybrid was the result of intentional hybridization in the early 1900s. These intergeneric clones have been propagated and widely disseminated since. Natural populations of serviceberry x mountain-ash hybrids are known from western North America. Intergeneric hybrids between other related plants in this group have been generated for ornamental landscape, fruit production and rootstock use. The intergeneric trees maintained at the USDA genebank have potential uses in molecular genetic and botanical research as well as horticultural applications in orchards and landscapes.

Technical Abstract: The USDA Agricultural Research Service maintains clonal germplasm collections representing world diversity of Pyrus, Cydonia and Mespilus at its National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Smaller collections of Amelanchier, Aronia, Crataegus, Sorbus and other genera in Rosaceae subtribe Pyrinae (formerly subfamily Maloideae) are also conserved at this genebank. Subtribe Pyrinae includes an unusually large number of intergeneric hybrids, some having natural origins and others resulting from intentional cross pollinations. For example, natural populations of ×Amelasorbus (Amelanchier x Sorbus) are known from western North America. Hybrid clones with garden origins include ×Sorbopyrus (Sorbus x Pyrus), which has been known since the early 1400s and ×Crataemespilus (Crataegus x Mespilus) since the late 1800s. Flow cytometry results confirm that a large fruited ×Sorbopyrus selection developed in the early 1800’s is triploid. The species ×Pyronia veitchii (Pyrus x Cydonia) originated from intentional hybridization in the early 1900s, and has become a useful virus sensitive indicator plant. Intergeneric hybrids between other members of Pyrinae have been generated for ornamental landscape, fruit production and rootstock use. Some intergeneric clones have been clonally propagated and widely disseminated. The intergeneric clonal accessions maintained at the USDA genebank have potential uses in molecular genetic and botanical research as well as horticultural applications in orchards and landscapes.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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