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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evalution of Inter-Specific Hybrids between Lagerstroemia indica and L. speciosa

Authors
item Pounders, Cecil
item Rinehart, Timothy
item Sakhanokho, Hamidou

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 16, 2007
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Rinehart, T.A., Sakhanokho, H.F. 2007. Evalution of Inter-Specific Hybrids between Lagerstroemia indica and L. speciosa. HortScience 42(6):1317-1322.

Interpretive Summary: The two most popular ornamental crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) species are L. indica L., the Indian crapemyrtle, and L. speciosa (L.) Pers., the Queen’s crapemyrle. The ornamental appeal of the two species is somewhat different, with L. speciosa more robust in all traits but being tropical and displaying a more limited range of flower colors (lavender, pink, white). Combination of complimentary traits from L. indica and L. speciosa could expand diversity for pest resistance and ornamental traits in commercial cultivars. Our main objective was to evaluate variation in progeny from controlled crosses between ‘Tonto’ crapemyrtle, descended from both L. indica and L. fauriei, and L. speciosa. A secondary goal was to compare observed variation with two commercial cultivars, ‘Monia’ and ‘Princess’ which are reported to originate from crosses between L. indica and L. speciosa. Viable inter-specific seedlings were produced but found to be sterile. Parentage was confirmed by comparison of morphological traits and genetic markers. Traits such as plant height and width showed marked variation within the seedling population while variation in other traits such as flower size and color was very limited. ‘Princess’ was confirmed to be a sterile hybrid of L. indica and L. speciosa while ‘Monia’ was indicated to have L. indica in its ancestry but not L. speciosa. Results will be used to develop breeding strategies to develop better crapemyrtles.

Technical Abstract: Production of viable inter-specific seedlings from a cross between L. indica L. ‘Tonto’ × L. speciosa (L.) Pers. was confirmed by comparison of morphological traits and genetic markers. Traits such as plant height and width showed marked variation within the seedling population while variation in other traits such as flower size and color was very limited. Seedlings were found to be functionally sterile as either male or female parents. Observed sterility prevents the maximum introgression of important complex traits such as cold-hardiness by sib mating or backcrossing into clones derived from this parental combination. ‘Princess’ was confirmed to be a sterile hybrid of L. indica and L. speciosa while ‘Monia’ was indicated to have L. indica in its ancestry but not L. speciosa.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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