F1 Hybrid question

marguerite_gwApril 11, 2013

I think this might be the right forum for my question, and please excuse it if it seems silly to non-beginners like yourselves:
If I buy a tray of F1 Hybrid bedding violas, all very much alike except for one which is completely different, is it likely that this plant is a 'throwback' of some sort genetically, or was simply placed by a worker in the wrong tray? What would be the likely reason? Or did some wandering pollinator get to one of the mother plants before the hand-pollination took place?

Or maybe F1 Hybrids are not all hand-pollinated, am I wrong about that? I am curious because I bought some F1 hybrids, the store had trays and trays of them, all very much alike, but in this one tray, a totally different plant as to colour, habit, everything.

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It is more likely that the seed got there by mistake.

"Or maybe F1 Hybrids are not all hand-pollinated..."

Very probably none of the commercial F1 hybrid seeds are hand pollinated. The seed producers usually find a way to get insect pollinators to do the pollination for them. A common method is to grow alternate rows of male sterile female plants and pollen-producing male plants, and let nature with bees and/or wind do the pollen transfer.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:41PM
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Many thanks for the reply, zenman. So from what you say, it is possible that unintended pollen type gets to the female plants, hence the different appearance of this viola. Since bees and other pollinators could quite easily carry pollen from further away than just those rows you describe, it is then remarkable that there is only the odd 'alien' in the ranks of the seedlings.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:22AM
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It could be unintended pollen on the female plant, or the seed itself could have been a wrong seed. Big growers make mass plantings using rigs that plant a whole tray at a time, and there could have been a misloading of the planting rig, or a seed might have gotten stuck in the rig from a previous batch.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Many thanks again, zenman. I'm imagining the scenario, it makes sense.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 9:01AM
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mauch1(z6b PA)

Zenman's generally right - it probably is just a mistaken seed from another batch. But it could be mis-hybridization. One way to 'help' tell if its just another seed from a different variety, it to look the other varieties of the same flower over at the nursery. If it looks almost identical to one of them, it increases the likely-hood that it was just a seed from a different batch. If its unique compared to anything else, it increases (slightly) the chance it was a chance hybridization of something else.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Thanks for that, mauch1. I haven't been able to get to the nursery, but I've searched diligently through loads of places where mixed violas are available, as well as through catalogues and on the web, and I haven't found a viola named or unnamed just like this one. The closest in colour is a variety called 'Tiger' which has stripes, unlike this little plant which is a bi-coloured one I named 'Amber' for my own use. It was in a batch of 'Antique Shades' and stood out because of the colour difference. I just wondered if it could be a throwback or how it might have come about, and the answers from zenman and yourself have been very helpful, thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:05PM
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It is possible for that odd viola to be one of the diploid parents that makes the F1 Hybrid. You would not find them anywhere in the marketplace because they are guarded so the general public cannot make crosses with the prized homologous plants.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:54AM
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Thanks for that very interesting answer, Jackie. So I may now be in the area of breeder intrigue, unwittingly !

I am learning a lot. I have just bought a box of so-called F1 violas, all different heights, colours and types. Mislabelling at work here, I think.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 10:51AM
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