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Zhuping Fan, Yike Gao, Ling Guo, Ying Cao, Rong Liu and Qixiang Zhang

Bearded iris (Iris ×hybrida Hort.) is a large horticultural hybrid complex in the Iris genus, and the lack of understanding about its inheritance laws has seriously hindered the breeding process. From parental bearded iris ‘Indian Chief’ and ‘Sugar Blues’, four hybrid populations—including F1, F2, BC1P1, and BC1P2—were generated through hybridization. Fifteen key phenotypic traits, including plant height (PH), scape height (SH), length of fall (LF), width of fall (WF), length of standard (LS), width of standard (WS), and so on, were measured, and several genetic parameters (e.g., trait variation, heritability, trait correlation, distribution of flower color) were analyzed. The variation of phenotypic traits indicated that the F1 generation could produce larger flowers and a greater number of blooming stems than other generations, whereas backcrossing was beneficial at producing more flowers on one scape in the offspring of ‘Indian Chief’ and ‘Sugar Blues’. WF had the greatest broad-sense heritability (73.91%) among the 15 phenotypic traits, whereas the broad-sense heritability of SH was the lowest (2.06%). The correlation between a vegetative trait (PH) and a reproductive trait (WS) provided a path to early selection of germplasm. Furthermore, four important floral traits (LF, WF, LS, and WS) also correlated significantly to each other, thus simplifying the selection of larger flowers. Genes regulating fuchsia flower color were dominant over those for bluish purple flowers. Genetic effects of flower color in recurrent parents could be reinforced by backcrossing, thereby providing a potential way to modify flower color through hybridization.

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Panpan Meng, Ying Ge, Qianjin Cao, Jie Chang, Peng Pan, Chi Liu, Yijun Lu and Scott X. Chang

Lycoris species have appealing characteristics for potting plants, cut flowers, and landscaping decorations, including attractive foliage, which is very similar to that of cymbidium. Lycoris species have been extensively propagated and marketed in Asia. Understanding the response of Lycoris spp. to irradiance intensity will help the horticultural industry improve the production of potting plants of those species. We studied the responses of photosynthesis, growth, and biomass allocation of potted Lycoris spp. (L. chinensis, L. longituba, and L. sprengeri) bulbs grown under three levels of irradiance, i.e., 100%, 70%, and 30% full sunlight. We found that in terms of biomass production L. chinensis can be cultivated under all levels of irradiance studied from full to 30% sunlight. For L. longituba, high irradiance levels increased the rate of net photosynthesis. For both L. chinensis and L. longituba, the full sunlight treatment produced the most attractive plants characterized by shorter, wider, and darker green leaves, features that appeal to consumers. However, none of the growth traits of L. sprengeri were affected by the irradiance treatment over the entire experimental period. It can be concluded that potting plants of L. chinensis and L. longituba are best produced under full sunlight, whereas L. sprengeri can be produced under irradiance levels from 30% to full sunlight.