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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309594

Research Project: Small Fruit and Ornamental Genetic Research for the Mid-South

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Begonia semperflorens FB08-59 and FB08-163 clonal germplasm

Author
item Pounders Jr, Cecil
item Sakhanokho, Hamidou
item NYOCHEMBENG, LEOPOLD - Alabama A & M University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2014
Publication Date: 1/1/2015
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Sakhanokho, H.F., Nyochembeng, L.M. 2015. Begonia semperflorens FB08-59 and FB08-163 clonal germplasm. HortScience. 50(1):145-146.2015.

Interpretive Summary: Begonia semperflorens is the most widely cultivated begonia and the fourth most popular bedding plant in the United States with a total production valued at 36 million dollars in 2009. Therefore, the goal of the breeding program at USDA-ARS in Poplarville, Mississippi, was to build upon these already existing desired attributes and further improve the environmental tolerances of B. semperflorens germplasm to increase production adaption to the heat and humidity prevalent in the Gulf States region. As a result, two new wax-type begonia clones, FB08-59 and FB08-163, were recently released by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Both clones have improved environmental tolerances that increase production adaption to the heat and humidity prevalent in the Gulf States region. FB08-59, a dark-foliage, red-flowered wax begonia, is the product of a recurrent selection breeding procedure to combine and improve the environmental tolerances identified in B. semperflorens ’Kaylen’ and B. cucullata var. arenosicola into a dark-foliaged, perennial, wax begonia. FB08-163 was selected as an elite pink-flowered dark-leafed seedling from plants that resulted from a cross between B. semperflorens ’Kaylen’ and B. schmidtiana ‘Shanzi’. Both FB08-59 and FB08-163 have survived and thrived for over five years under a variety of environmental stresses such as overhead summer irrigation and overwintering in #3 plastic containers under ambient Plant Hardiness Zone 8 climatic conditions. Commercial lines used for comparison growing under the same summer conditions as FB08-59 and FB08-163 were killed by a combination of heat stress and Pythium. FB08-59 and FB08-163 regenerate after overwintering from root buds characteristic of wild-type B. cucullata and ‘Kaylen’. Such structures are generally absent in annual bedding plant B. semperflorens varieties.

Technical Abstract: FB08-59 is a dark-foliage, red-flowered wax begonia clone adapted to hot humid summers. It is the product of a recurrent selection breeding procedure to combine and improve the environmental tolerances identified in B. semperflorens ’Kaylen’ and B. cucullata arenosicola into a dark-foliaged, perennial, wax begonia. FB08-59 was selected from a F2 (B. semperflorens ’Kaylen’ × B. cucullata arenosicola) population grown in 2008. FB08-163 has excellent adaption to the heat and humidity prevalent in the Gulf States region. The clone was selected as an elite seedling from plants that resulted from a cross between B. semperflorens ’Kaylen’ and B.schmidtiana ‘Shanzi’. FB08-163 has also been determined to be male sterile. The environment tolerances of FB08-59 and FB08-163 will prove useful as parents for begonia breeders interested in developing dark-leaf environmentally tolerate cultivars adapted to long hot humid summers. Both clones are also adapted to overwintering in climates where the soil does not freeze in winter, which adds another dimension to environmental tolerance that may be utilized to develop improved clones. The dominant nature of many genes associated with the environmental tolerance traits identified in FB08-59 and FB08-163 make them ideal parents for development of inbred lines with high levels of environmental stress tolerance to serve as parents for F1 hybrid seed production