Narrow-sense heritabilities and genetic correlations of ornamental quality traits of Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon) were evaluated with special reference to cut flower postharvest longevity (PHL). Inbreds P1 (16 days PHL) and P2 (3 days PHL) were hybridized to produce an F1 (P1 × P2) that was self-pollinated to produce an F2 population. The F2 were self-pollinated to produce F3 families and advanced through single-seed descent by self-pollination to the F5 generation. P1, P2, F1, F3, F4, and F5 were evaluated for ornamental quality traits. Quality traits were found to be quantitative and normally distributed. Narrow-sense heritability (h2) estimates were high and consistent across generations examined; PHL h2 ranged from 0.79 to 0.81 ± 0.06. Phenotypic and genotypic correlations revealed underlying physiological and pleiotropic interactions relevant to breeding programs aimed at simultaneous improvement of ornamental quality traits. PHL is inversely related to cut flower strength and days to flower, -0.44 ± 0.04 and -0.43 ± 0.44. Buds at discard is positively correlated to cut flower and plant diameter, cut flower weight and days to flower, 0.77 ± 0.05, 0.58 ± 0.06, 0.71 ± 0.06, and 0.77 ± 0.07, respectively. Gain from selection for quality traits of interest can be rapid.
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