Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2005
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Citation: Sakhanokho, H.F., Pounders Jr, C.T. 2006. Ploidy variation in hedychium species and cultivars. Southern Nursery Association Research Conference Vol. 50, pp. 665-667, 2005. Interpretive Summary: Ornamental gingers are gaining popularity because they present great potential for use as flowering pot plants, both indoors and as patio and landscape plants. They belong to the Zingiberaceae family. The genus Hedychium, often referred to as “Ginger Lily”, is one of the most popular genera of the Zingiberaceae family because of its attractive foliage, diverse and showy flowers, and sweet fragrance. Tremendous diversity exists within the genus, providing breeders with an opportunity to develop new cultivars or varieties through hybridization or crossing of prospective parents. However, differences in ploidy levels can constitute serious barriers to hybridization. The ploidy level refers to the number of sets of chromosomes that an individual has. An individual with two sets of chromosomes is said to be diploid, and three sets of chromosomes, a triploid, etc. We used a flow cytometry machine to determine the ploidy levels of severeral Hedychium species and cultivars obtained from various sources. Our results can help breeders and hybridizers develop a sound breeding scheme for this ornamental ginger.
Technical Abstract: One of the barriers to crop improvement via hybridization is differences in ploidy level between prospective parents. Using a ploidy analyzer, we have determined the ploidy level of several Hedychium species and cultivars, thus paving the way for a sound breeding scheme for this ornamental ginger.