Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2001
Publication Date: 2/21/2001
Citation: Reed, S.M., Roh, M.S., Joung, Y. 2001. Production and characterization of three clethra interspecific hybrids. HortScience. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: An interspecific hybridization project was undertaken in Clethra with the objective of determining if C. alnifolia could be hybridized with C. acuminata, C. fargesii, and C. pringlei. Cletha alnifolia is the most cold-hardy and adaptable of these four species, whereas C. acuminata and C. fargesii have attractive exfoliating bark and C. pringlei has glossy, evergreen foliage. Reciprocal crosses were made between C. alnifolia and the other three species. Viable plants were obtained from reciprocal crosses between C. alnifolia and C. fargesii, and from crosses between C. alnifolia and the other two species when C. alnifolia was used as the maternal parent. RAPD markers were used to verify hybridity and to compare hybrids to their parents. In all cases, neighbor joining analysis indicated that the hybrids had more RAPD markers in common with C. alnifolia than with their other parent. Leaf, flower and inflorescence measurements of the putative hybrids and the parental plants were also made. The morphological resemblance of C. alnifolia x C. acuminata and C. fargesii x C. alnifolia plants to their paternal parent indicated that these plants were of hybrid origin. The C. alnifolia x C. pringlei plants resembled C. alnifolia in many respects, but they stayed green much later in the year than did C. alnifolia and their leaves remained on their plants throughout the winter. These foliage characteristics were presumed to reflect the contribution of the evergreen C. pringlei, and thus were regarded as evidence of hybridity. Future work will emphasize field evaluation of the ornamental value of the hybrids, development of advanced filial and backcross progeny, and the production of additional Clethra interspecific hybrids.