Introgression of Fragaria Species using a Streamlined Synthetic Octoploid System

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticultural Science, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

Fragaria species from the center of diversity have not been integrated into octoploid commercial strawberry cultivars because of ploidy level differences. Even though traits such as disease resistance, enhanced flavor, cold hardiness, and vigor are known to exist in the diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid species, they cannot be easily used for breeding. The synthetic octoploid method circumvented introgression difficulties by combining lower ploidy species and doubling to the octoploid level. Although easily crossed to cultivars, the use of synthetic octoploids has been minimal as it has been extremely difficult to create them. By working to improve bottlenecks of the original system, improved methodology has been developed and 170 synthetic octoploids have been produced. This represents more than a 100-fold increase in efficiency. The following factors played a major role in improving the system: wide germplasm base; use of F. vesca as a common genome; embryo rescue; 5% colchicine applied in vitro by dropper method for 24 hours followed by a quick rinse and continuous light in a 18C growth chamber. F. vesca, F. nilgerrensis, F. nubicola, F. viridis, F. orientalis, and F. moschata have been incorporated into synthetic octoploids in this study.

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