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Zhanao Deng and Brent Harbaugh

Caladiums (Caladium×hortulanum) are ornamental aroids often forced in containers or grown in the landscape for their colorful leaves. The aesthetic value of caladium plants is largely determined by their leaf characteristics. Caladium breeding can be traced back to the mid-1800s when Gregor Mendel conducted his plant hybridization experiments, but information on the inheritance of caladium traits has been rather scant. To understand the mode of inheritance for three typical leaf shapes and three main vein colors in caladium, controlled crosses were made among commercial cultivars and breeding lines, and segregation of leaf shape and/or main vein color in the progeny was analyzed. The observed segregation ratios indicated that a single locus with three alleles seemed to determine the main vein color in caladium. The white vein allele was dominant over the green vein allele, but recessive to the red vein allele, which was dominant over both white and green vein alleles. The three leaf shapes (fancy, lance, and strap) in caladium seemed to be controlled by two co-dominant alleles at one locus. Leaf shape segregation was skewed in some crosses, which might imply the existence of other factors involved in caladium leaf shape development. Chi-square tests revealed that leaf shape and main vein color were inherited independently in caladium.

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

resulted in diverse and intriguing foliar coloration patterns in these plants ( Henny, 1988 ). These coloration patterns have been a major contributing component to the ornamental and/or economic value of a number of important ornamental aroids ( Henny and

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Richard J. Henny, Jianjun Chen, and Terri A. Mellich

cultivars 466 472 Janick J. Whipkey A. Trends in new crops and new uses ASHS Press Alexandria, VA Henny, R.J. Norman, D.J. Chen, J. 2004 Progress in ornamental aroid breeding Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 91 465 473 Royal Horticultural Society The Royal Horticultural

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W.L. Chen and D.M. Yeh

carrying and spreading disease. Tissue culture is preferable for rapid multiplication of healthy plants. However, endogenous microbial contamination is known to be one of the most serious problems in tissue culture of ornamental aroids, including

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Zhanao Deng, Fahrettin Goktepe, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Jinguo Hu

for other ornamental aroids ( Chen et al., 2004a , 2004b , 2004c ; Henny, 1977 ). Reduced genetic diversity could result in increased vulnerability to new diseases and pests and in reduced genetic variation for cultivar development. Some genetic

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums ( Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids valued for their bright colorful leaves. They are commonly used as container and landscape plants. Pink cultivars have been very popular and the most popular pink

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums ( Caladium × hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are tropical ornamental aroids often used as potted plants or for providing color in the landscape. The propagules used in pots or landscapes are tubers, the underground storage organ of

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladiums ( Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids commonly used as container and landscape plants ( Evans et al., 1992 ; Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985 ). They are valued for bright colorful leaves and low

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums ( Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids grown for their bright, colorful leaves. Their short forcing period, shade tolerance, and low maintenance requirements in the landscape make caladiums popular among

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums [ Caladium × hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.] are ornamental aroids widely used as pot and landscape plants for their colorful foliage and ease in growing ( Evans et al., 1992 ; Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985 ). Tens of millions of