Fragaria vesca has been introgressed into F. ×ananassa in the form of decaploids and synthetic octoploids. As F. vesca is self-incompatible and crosses with most diploid Fragaria species when used as a female parent, it could serve as a bridge for introgression of additional genetic material. A primary goal of this study was to screen selections of F. vesca for interspecific crossability among diploid species. The F. vesca collection included 10 cultivars of the alpine strawberry, F. vesca var. semperflorens, as well as 30 wild runnering types gathered from around the world. The following diploid species were represented by one to three genotypes each: F. viridis, F. nubicola, F. nipponica, F. nilgerens, F. iinumae, F. daltoniana, F. gracilis, as well as two unnamed species from China. Fragaria vesca was used as the female parent and the other species provided the pollen. Crossing took place in the greenhouse, with one pollination occurring during the “popcorn” or “balloon” stage. Germination was performed in vitro using cut achenes shortly after fruit ripening. The alpine strawberry cultivars were easier to cross than wild selections of F. vesca. Their continuous blooming habit combined with higher positioning of flowers allowed for easier and perhaps less-damaging emasculation. Crossability, as measured by seed set and germination, was more variable in wild-type F. vesca and generally lower than alpine strawberry cultivars.
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