The Use of Mentor Pollination to Facilitate Wide Hybridization in Blueberry

in HortScience

Two diploid yellowleaf Vaccinium elliottii Chapmn. clones were pollinated with pollen from the tetraploid southern highbush cultivar `Misty' (largely V. corymbosum L). These interspecific crosses, which normally yield few hybrids because of a triploid block, were made with and without the use of V. elliottii mentor pollen mixed with V. corymbosum pollen. Mentoring had no effect on the number of hybrids produced when V. elliottii `Silverhill' was the seed parent, but when V. elliottii `Oleno' was the seed parent, no hybrids were produced unless mentor pollen was utilized. The difference was postulated to be a greater ability to produce one-seeded berries in `Silverhill' than in `Oleno'.

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Current address: Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, 99-193 Aiea Heights Drive, Aiea, HI 96701.
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