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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334315

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Interspecific hybrid of xeric Shepherdia rotundifolia and riparian Shepherdia argentea: description, and traits suitable for low-water urban landscapes

Author
item SRILADDA, CHALITA - Utah State University
item KRATSCH, HEIDI - University Of Nevada
item Larson, Steven
item Monaco, Thomas
item SHEN, FENANN - Utah State University
item KJELGREN, ROGER - Utah State University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Sriladda, C., Kratsch, H.A., Larson, S.R., Monaco, T.A., Shen, F., Kjelgren, R.K. 2016. Interspecific hybrid of xeric Shepherdia rotundifolia and riparian Shepherdia argentea: description, and traits suitable for low-water urban landscapes. HortScience. 51:822-828.

Interpretive Summary: Shepherdia rotundifolia Parry (roundleaf buffaloberry), a shrub endemic to the U.S. Colorado Plateau high desert, has aesthetic and drought tolerance qualities desirable for low-water urban landscapes. However, slow growth and too often fatal sensitivity to wet or disturbed soil stymies nursery production and urban landscape use. The goal of this study was to create an interspecific hybrid between the evergreen-xeric S. rotundifolia and its widely adapted, fast-growing, deciduous relative Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry) distributed in western North America riparian habitats. Genetics and leaf morphology of the resulting S. argentea X S. rotundifolia hybrid are described and compared with the parents, as well as hybrid gas exchange as a reasonable proxy for growth rate and potential tolerance of poor soil. Hybrid genotypes were heterogenous, but contained an intermediate and equal contribution of alleles from genetically heterogenous parent populations. Leaf morphology traits were also intermediate between both parents. Aesthetic leaf qualities (silver-blue color and revolute margins) sought from S. rotundifolia were conserved in all offspring. However, gas exchange responses varied widely between the two surviving hybrids. Both hybrids showed greater tolerance of wet, fertile substrate - and promise for use in low-water landscapes - than S. rotundifolia. However, one hybrid conserved faster growth, and by inference possibly greater tolerance of wet or disturbed soil, from S. argentea, while the opposite was observed in the second hybrid. Following botanical nomenclature, we named this hybrid Shepherdia X utahensis.

Technical Abstract: Shepherdia rotundifolia Parry (roundleaf buffaloberry), a shrub endemic to the U.S. Colorado Plateau high desert, has aesthetic and drought tolerance qualities desirable for low-water urban landscapes. However, slow growth and too often fatal sensitivity to wet or disturbed soil stymies nursery production and urban landscape use. The goal of this study was to create an interspecific hybrid between the evergreen-xeric S. rotundifolia and its widely adapted, fast-growing, deciduous relative Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry) distributed in western North America riparian habitats. Genetics and leaf morphology of the resulting S. argentea X S. rotundifolia hybrid are described and compared with the parents, as well as hybrid gas exchange as a reasonable proxy for growth rate and potential tolerance of poor soil. Hybrid genotypes were heterogenous, but contained an intermediate and equal contribution of alleles from genetically heterogenous parent populations. Leaf morphology traits were also intermediate between both parents. Aesthetic leaf qualities (silver-blue color and revolute margins) sought from S. rotundifolia were conserved in all offspring. However, gas exchange responses varied widely between the two surviving hybrids. Both hybrids showed greater tolerance of wet, fertile substrate - and promise for use in low-water landscapes - than S. rotundifolia. However, one hybrid conserved faster growth, and by inference possibly greater tolerance of wet or disturbed soil, from S. argentea, while the opposite was observed in the second hybrid. Following botanical nomenclature, we named this hybrid Shepherdia X utahensis.