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Obtainment of an intergeneric hybrid between Forsythia and Abeliophyllum

Shen, JianShuang, Xu, TingLiang, Shi, Chao, Cheng, TangRen, Wang, Jia, Pan, HuiTang, Zhang, QiXiang
Euphytica 2017 v.213 no.4 pp. 95
Abeliophyllum distichum, Forsythia suspensa, amplified fragment length polymorphism, color, cultivars, females, fluorescence microscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, hybrids, intergeneric hybridization, isoprenoids, odors, parents, plant breeding, pollen tubes, pollination, seed set, volatile organic compounds
Forsythia suspensa and F. ‘Courtaneur’ were used as female parents to cross with Abeliophyllum distichum in 2011 and an intergeneric hybrid of F. suspensa × A. distichum was obtained, though with very low seed set. The morphological characteristics, flower fragrance and volatile organic compounds of flowers were analysed. The intergeneric hybrid had intermediate morphological characteristics of both parents and flower fragrance and was confirmed as a true intergeneric hybrid by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Compared with its mother parent (F. suspensa), flowers of the intergeneric hybrid are pale yellow with delicate fragrance. Volatile organic compounds of flowers were retrieved by purge-and-trap techniques, and determined by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The main volatile organic components of F. suspensa were isoprenoids, while the main volatile organic components of A. distichum and the hybrid of F. suspensa × A. distichum were aliphatics. To determine the time and the site of intergeneric hybridizing barriers occured, the pollen tubes’ behavior after pollination was observed under fluorescence microscopy. It was found that significant pre-fertilization incompatibility existed in intergeneric crossing combinations [F. ‘Courtaneur’ (Pin) × A. distichum (Thrum) and F. suspensa (Pin) × A. distichum (Thrum)], and only a few pollen tubes of A. distichum penetrated into the ovaries of Forsythia. In our research, an intergeneric hybrid between Forsythia and Abeliophyllum was obtained for the first time, which will provide a solid foundation for expanding the flower color range of Forsythia and breeding fragrant-flowered cultivars.