Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2007
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Rinehart, T.A., Edwards Jr, N.C., Knight, P. 2007. An Analysis of Combining Ability for Height, Leaf Out, Bloom Date and Flower Color for Crapemyrtle. HortScience 42(6):4 pgs.
Interpretive Summary: Breeding of crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) in the United States has focused on developing hybrids between parents with disease or pest resistance and those with good floral characteristics. The objective of this study was to obtain genetic information on several horticulturally important traits of crapemyrtle that would improve the efficiency of developing pest resistant varieties with improved flower color. Genetic information generated from the work indicates that several commonly grown varieties are superior parents which produce offspring with improved traits including faster growth, later leaf-out to reduce frost damage, darker colored flowers and an earlier bloom season. Results of this study can be used by crapemyrtle breeders to speed the development of attractive new varieties with better enviromental tolerance for southern landscapes.
Technical Abstract: Breeding of crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) in the United States has focused on developing hybrids between parents with disease or pest resistance and those with good floral characteristics. The objective of this work was to study the general and specific combining ability of several horticulturally important traits in crosses between pest-resistant parents and those with saturated flower colors. Ten crapemyrtle parents were tested in a factorial mating design including 25 of the 29 possible families. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences (p ' 0.05) for all traits for the general combining ability of parents. The cross between ‘Arapaho’ and ‘WHIT IV’ displayed the best specific combining ability for a desirable combination of height, leaf-out time, bloom time, and flower color based on current breeding objectives. Overall, this study revealed the importance of both additive and non-additive genetic variability in crapemyrtle, suggesting that an integrated breeding strategy to capture both additive and dominance variance would be appropriate for producing new, improved crapemyrtle clones for the four traits evaluated.