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Development of complementary techniques applied to Hydrangea hybridizations

Nesi, B., Lazzereschi, S., Pecchioli, S., Pacifici, S., Venturieri, A. G., Burchi, G.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1104 pp. 341-348
Hydrangea, cultivars, cut flowers, disinfection, gardening, germination, hybridization, hybrids, in vitro culture, landscaping, new markets, ornamental plants, pollination, seeds, Italy
Hydrangea is a genus of ornamental plants traditionally used in landscaping, and gardening, but is gaining new markets as a pot plant, and as fresh and dried cut flowers. To meet the needs of an expanding market, new hybrids and cultivars should be developed. Therefore, a project aimed to develop new Hydrangea hybrids was carried out in Italy collaboratively between the CRA-VIV Pescia and a private company, Az. Mansuino, Sanremo, Italy in 2012. Inter- and intra-specific hybridizations, between different species and cultivars, were carried out. The development of complementary techniques was necessary to improve the breeding efficacy. Four preliminary experiments were carried out: i) pollination system; ii) a parameter to evaluate sexual compatibility among hybridized plants; iii) comparison among different fruit-cut systems before their in vitro cultivation, aimed at developing embryos and immature seeds for hybrid rescue; and iv) evaluation of different seed disinfection systems for in vitro germination. The results of these experiments were applied in a Hydrangea hybridization program using sexual crosses.