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How are parents of F1's selected? For Traits?

Posted by sambal z8 Seattle WA (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 27, 07 at 22:25

Hi. SAM again with a pretty dumb sounding question, about the beginning of the whole chain of hybridization. I imagine one attempts to hybridize because of the desire to 'fix' desirable traits? The thing is, if I were to select two dandilions (that will soon be blooming in my gardens), that are 'wild' and look like all the other dandilions, and I wanted to cross them, for no reason but curiosity, would the offspring be considered f1,or better X1, simply because I had 'crossed' them? What about 'sports'? I have a beautiful perennial vinca that is super large and puts out a couple of branches with pure white leaves intermingled with the variagated green leaves. It does this every year. Should I try and keep it going with vegetative prop. or try to work through pollination? T I've grown plants for 45 years, but trying my hand at hybridizing is something I've always wanted to do, but just never tried. Rather than having to ask all of these questions, perhaps someone could refer me to a good book on botanical genetics? Loads of thanks, SAM


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RE: How are parents of F1's selected? For Traits?

Sam,

"...would the offspring be considered f1, or better X1, simply because I had 'crossed' them?"

Your dandelions have already been crossed extensively by bees, and as soon as your new ones bloom out, the bees will randomly cross many of them too, so it doesn't really matter what you call them.

"The thing is, if I were to select two dandelions (that will soon be blooming in my gardens), that are 'wild' and look like all the other dandelions..."

If you look closely, you might notice small differences between each of your dandelions. They are a little bit like snowflakes, in that no two of them are exactly alike. That may not be exactly true of dandelions or snowflakes, but it is approximately true, in that there is a wide variety of small differences, and some differences that are not so small. All dandelions, like all people, don't look alike. It's just a matter of close observation.

"...perhaps someone could refer me to a good book..."

There are several good books on hybridization and plant breeding available from or through Amazon. I have and enjoy Breeding New Plants and Flowers by Charles W. Welch. I have Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe. I also have Breeding Ornamental Plants by Dorothy Callaway. They all have some interesting material in them, but there many other books on hybridization and plant breeding as well. Since my specialty is zinnia breeding, I plan to purchase Flower Breeding and Genetics when my budget allows. It has a whole chapter on zinnia breeding, and of course, lots of other material as well.

MM


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