Inheritance of Flowering without Vernalization in Seed-propagated Lilium formosanum Wallace

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  • 1 University of Minnesota, Horticultural Science, 305 Alderman Hall, St. Paul, MN, 55108

A majority of commercial Lilium hybrids and species do not flower the first year from seed or scales due to an obligate vernalization requirement. The Formosa lily (L. formosanum) is a unique species within the genus Lilium because some genotypes flower from seed the first year without vernalization. The objective of this study is to determine the inheritance of stem emergence, which culminates in flowering, in seed-propagated families without vernalization. Nine L. formosanum genotypes, selected from six populations for obligate or non-obligate vernalization for flowering, were intermated to generate 23 families with 104 seedlings per family. Families were grown in a randomized complete-block design at 21 °C (day/night) and data collected were seedling mortality, stem emergence or rosetting without vernalization, and weeks to emergence. At the end of 44 weeks, rosetted genotypes were vernalized for 8 weeks (4 °C); 100% emerged. We propose this trait is controlled by two genes. For flowering without vernalization to occur, there needs to be at least one dominant allele at one of the loci. Locus Ver2 has less penetrance than Ver1. Families segregating for dominant alleles at both Ver1 and Ver2 emerged sooner (34.2 weeks) than those segregating for a dominant allele at only Ver1 (36.1 weeks) or Ver2 (37.6 weeks). Identification of these genes can aid in the development of uniform, fast-flowering L. formosanum hybrids as well as aid in the introgression of this trait into standard commercial lily classes.

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