The effect of heat on rose flowers was examined by measuring flower size in 10 diploid rose populations created by crossing the heat-tolerant Texas A&M University (TAMU) breeding lines (M4-4, J06-20-14-3) and sensitive (97/7-2, ‘Red Fairy’, ‘Sweet Chariot’, ‘Vineyard Song’, ‘Old Blush’, and ‘Little Chief’) diploid roses. As expected, the populations and individual seedlings differed in flower size. The heat-shock treatment (1 hour at 44 °C) decreased flower diameter (15.7%), petal number (23.3%), and flower dry weight (16.9%). Flower-size traits had moderately low narrow-sense (0.24, 0.12, and 0.34 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) and moderately high broad-sense (0.62, 0.74, and 0.76 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) heritability indicating important nonadditive genetic effects. If rose genotypes vary in floral heat tolerance, a differential response to heat among populations, seedlings, or both detected statistically by a significant interaction effect would be expected. Both the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the restricted estimated maximum likelihood (REML) analyses showed a positive population × heat stress interaction effect for flower diameter. Although our data indicate differences in floral heat tolerance among the populations and genotypes, the effect was small as compared with the other sources of variation. Thus, using this 1-hour heat-shock approach would not be an effective strategy to select for floral heat tolerance in rose.
Plant architecture is a crucial trait in plant breeding because it is linked to crop yield. For ornamental crops such as roses, plant architecture is key for their aesthetic and economic value. In 2015, six rose plant architectural traits were evaluated on 2- to 3-year-old plants of F1 rose populations in May and December in College Station, TX, to estimate variability and heritability. The traits included plant height, the number of primary shoots, the length of primary shoots, the number of nodes on the primary shoot, the number of secondary shoots per primary shoot, and the number of tertiary shoots per primary shoot. Among these traits, plant height, the number of primary shoots, and the length of primary shoots showed a substantial amount of variability, whereas the number of secondary and tertiary shoots per primary shoot were skewed toward zero. Using a random effects model restricted maximum likelihood (REML) analysis, the architectural traits demonstrated low to moderate narrow-sense heritability (0.12–0.50) and low to high broad-sense heritability (0.34–0.92). Plant height and the number of primary shoots changed little after the first growth phase, whereas the other four traits were affected greatly by the genotype-by-environment (growth phase) interaction.