Genetic Analysis of Flower Size and Production in Diploid Rose

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

This project examined rose (Rosa ×hybrida) performance by measuring flower size and flower numbers per inflorescence in spring, summer, and fall seasons (mean temperatures 21.7, 30.0, and 18.1 °C, respectively) in interrelated rose populations. Populations and progeny differed in flower size as expected. Heat stress in the summer season decreased flower diameter (18%), petal number (17% to 20%), and flower dry weight (32%). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant population/progeny × heat stress interaction for flower diameter indicating that rose genotypes responded differentially to heat stress. Flower size traits had moderate low to moderate narrow-sense (0.38, 0.26–0.33, and 0.53 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) and moderately high to high broad-sense (0.70, 0.85–0.91, and 0.88 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) heritability. Genotype × environment (G × E) variance (population/progeny × heat stress) for flower diameter accounted for ≈35% of the total variance in the field experiment indicating that heat stress had moderate differential genotypic effects. However, the genetic variance was several fold greater than the G × E variance indicating selection for flower size would be effective in any season but for the selection of a stable flower size (heat tolerant) rose genotype, selection would be required in both the cool and warm seasons. Seasonal differences in flower productivity of new shoots did not appear related to heat stress but rather to the severity of pruning conducted in the different seasons. The number of flowers produced on the inflorescence had moderate narrow-sense (h2 = 0.43) and high broad-sense (H2 = 0.75) heritability with a moderate genotype × pruning effect that explained about 36% of the variance.

Contributor Notes

This work was partially funded by the Robert E. Basye Endowment in Rose Genetics and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative projects, “RosBREED: Combining Disease Resistance with Horticultural Quality in New Rosaceous Cultivars” and “Combating Rose Rosette Disease: Short Term and Long Term Approaches.”

Corresponding author. E-mail: dbyrne@tamu.edu.

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