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Characterization of interspecific hybrids of Petunia and Calibrachoa by multiplex PCR, DNA content, and chromosome number

Jedrzejuk, Agata, Meyer, Lara, Serek, Margrethe
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2017 v.92 no.5 pp. 493-501
Petunia, DNA primers, Calibrachoa, hybrids, diploidy, DNA, horticulture, introns, ornamental plants, cultivars, chromosomes, chromosome number, polymerase chain reaction, triploidy, exons, flow cytometry, biotechnology, flowers, pH, color
Petunia and Calibrachoa are ornamental plants of worldwide economic importance. Commercially, it is useful to combine desirable characteristics of Calibrachoa, including the large diversity of flower colors, with the pH tolerance and vigorous growth of Petunia. For investigation of interspecific hybrids between Petunia and Calibrachoa we used four different introns with flanking exon areas, each from a different gene and with a different sequence for Petunia and Calibrachoa, as genus-specific markers for chromosomes in interspecific hybrids. PCR primers specific for Petunia and Calabrachoa were made from the determined sequences and tested on a range of presumed hybrids using multiplex PCR, which confirmed that the hybrids were derived from these two species. Flow cytometry demonstrated that the hybrids were triploid, and determination of chromosome numbers showed that two of the chromosome sets were from Calibrachoa, i.e. that the other parent, Petunia, was diploid. Similar methods can be used for molecular characterization of other new hybrids made between closely related species or cultivars.