Ploidy level and fertility status are often the two biggest barriers a breeder must overcome when trying to incorporate novel characteristics among related taxa. This study was aimed at developing an efficient chromosome doubling method for Buddleja L., commonly known as butterfly bush, with the goal of equalizing the ploidy level and restoring the fertility of a diploid (2n=38) F1 interspecific hybrid that has a unique orange color but happens to be sterile. This method would ease the crossing of the hybrid to the tetraploid (2n=76) B. davidii Franch. cultivars commonly found in the industry. An antimitotic treatment of oryzalin was tested on 02-25-142 (B. madagascarensis Lam. × B. crispa Benth.) in vitro using nodal sections. A factorial of varying concentrations [3, 5, and 7 μM (micromolar)] by different exposure times (1, 2, and 3 day) plus controls was set up. Oryzalin appeared to be an efficient agent for chromosome doubling in Buddleja. Significant differences in the number of polyploids were not seen between chemical concentrations and exposure times. However, higher chemical concentrations and exposure times did have a significant effect on the number of nodes that survived tissue culture. Increased leaf size and color, stem thickness, shortened internode length, and upright growth habit were all good early phenotypic indicators of polyploidy induction as later confirmed by flow cytometry. Significant increases in pollen viability accompanied chromosome doubling as crosses between 02-25-142 × B. davidii cultivars produced viable seedlings.
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