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Youping Sun, Guihong Bi, Genhua Niu and Christina Perez

estimated $73 million hydrangea plants were sold annually ( U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009 ). Bigleaf hydrangea is one of the most widely grown hydrangea species in the United States with over 1000 cultivars ( Dirr, 2012 ). Some cultivars are best

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Xingbo Wu and Lisa W. Alexander

known as bigleaf hydrangea, is the most commonly cultivated species. One of the remarkable traits of bigleaf hydrangea is the aluminum (Al)-dependent flower color; plants may have pink or blue flowers in the presence of Al and a favorable substrate pH

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Mary Jane Clark and Youbin Zheng

. 79.38°W), five commonly grown nursery crops were selected for study, based on their economic value and relative importance to Ontario nurseries: bigleaf hydrangea, ‘Green Velvet’ boxwood, ‘Magic Carpet’ spirea, ‘Palace Purple’ coral bells, and rose of

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Keri D. Jones, Sandra M. Reed and Timothy A. Rinehart

Easter and Mother's Day sales ( Bailey, 1989 ). Although only H. macrophylla ssp. macrophylla is used in the florist's trade, both H. macrophylla ssp. macrophylla (bigleaf hydrangea) and H. macrophylla ssp. serrata (mountain hydrangea) are

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Sandra M. Reed, Keri D. Jones and Timothy A. Rinehart

The potential of producing an intergeneric hybrid between Dichroa febrifuga Lour. and Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser. was investigated. Reciprocal hybridizations were made between a D. febrifuga selection (GUIZ 48) and diploid (‘Veitchii’) and triploid (‘Kardinal’ and ‘Taube’) cultivars of H. macrophylla. Embryo rescue was employed for about one-third of the crosses that produced fruit, and the rest were allowed to mature on the plant and seed-collected and germinated. Reciprocal hybrids, which were verified with simple sequence repeat markers, were produced from both embryo rescue and seed germination and with both diploid and triploid H. macrophylla cultivars. Hybrids were intermediate in appearance between parents, but variability in leaf, inflorescence, and flower size and flower color existed among the hybrids. A somatic chromosome number of 2n = 6x = 108 was tentatively proposed for D. febrifuga GUIZ 48. Chromosome counts and flow-cytometric measurements of nuclear DNA content indicated that some of the hybrids may be aneuploids, but neither analysis was definitive. Although hybrids with H. macrophylla as the pistillate parent did not form pollen-producing anthers, D. febrifuga × H. macrophylla hybrids had normal-appearing anthers that produced abundant pollen. F2 and BC1 progeny were obtained using D. febrifuga × ‘Veitchii’ hybrids. This work documents the first step in an effort to combine desirable horticultural features from D. febrifuga and H. macrophylla.

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Henry D. Schreiber and Nicholas A. Wade

A field-portable method, adapting commercially available chlorophyll content meters, has been developed to measure the anthocyanin concentration in red and blue sepals of Hydrangea macrophylla. The meters were calibrated to total extractable anthocyanin concentration. The strength of the linear relationship (anthocyanin content index vs. extractable anthocyanin concentration) was better for red than blue sepals, due perhaps to the inclusion of purplish sepals in the blue data set or perhaps to more than one mechanism for the bluing of sepals. The meters were demonstrated to be an effective tool for the measurement of relative anthocyanin concentration in hydrangea sepals as a function of bloom stage.

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Lisa Alexander

-Davila, M.E. 2005 Control of powdery mildew and Cercospora leaf spot on bigleaf hydrangea with Heritage and MilStop fungicides. AL Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 658 Halcomb, M. Reed, S. Fulcher, A. 2013 Hydrangeas. UT-UK IPM for shrub production manual. University

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Sandra M. Reed

Little information is available on the reproductive behavior of Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb. Ex J.A. Murr.) Ser. The objectives of this study were to investigate time of stigma receptivity, viability of pollen from sterile flowers, and self-incompatibility in this popular ornamental shrub. Pollen germination and pollen tube growth in styles were examined using fluorescence microscopy. Stigma receptivity was examined in cross-pollinations made from 1 day before anthesis to 8 days after anthesis. Maximum stigma receptivity for the two cultivars examined occurred from anthesis to 4 days after anthesis. Viability of pollen from sterile flowers was evaluated through pollen staining and observations of pollen tube growth. No significant difference in percent stainable pollen between fertile and sterile flowers was observed in any of the six taxa examined. Pollen germination and pollen tube growth were studied in cross-pollinations made using pollen from fertile and sterile flowers of two cultivars. For both cultivars, pollen tubes from fertile and sterile flowers grew to the same length and had entered ovules by 72 hours after pollination. Self-incompatibility was evaluated by comparing pollen germination and pollen tube growth in cross- and self-pollinations. In the five taxa examined, self pollen tubes were significantly shorter than cross pollen tubes in flowers that were examined 72 hours after pollination. This finding indicates the presence of a gametophytic self-incompatibility system in H. macrophylla.

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Warner Orozco-Obando, Gwen N. Hirsch and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

The general doctrine of flowering in Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser. is that floral induction occurs during the fall months with the flower appearing the following spring or summer. However, hydrangea cultivars differ widely in their relative abundance and duration of flower production. The objective of this study was to determine how developmental flowering patterns compared among different hydrangea genotypes. Flowering was characterized in 18 cultivars by assessing flower initiation in dormant buds of 1-year-old stems that received natural outdoor inductive conditions. Terminal and lateral buds were dissected and floral developmental stage categorized microscopically. In terminal buds, flower development was very consistent and occurred in 100% of buds for all cultivars except `Ayesha' (33%). In contrast, lateral buds showed a wide variation in flower induction among genotypes. `Ayesha', `Blushing Pink', `Freudenstein', and `Nigra' had 10% or fewer lateral buds with floral initials. `All Summer Beauty', `David Ramsey', `Masja', `Nightingale', and `Penny Mac' showed high levels of floral induction (>92%). Within a cultivar, flower development was more advanced in terminal than lateral buds. In several cultivars, a significant correlation between bud size (length) and floral stage was found. However, low r-square values indicated that flower stage was explained largely due to factors other than bud length. This study shows that floral induction patterns vary markedly among hydrangea cultivars and provides insight into why cultivars differ in the extent and reliability of seasonal blooming. Genotypes that possess floral primordia in lateral buds would be amenable to cultural practices that enhance lateral budbreak and recurrent blooming.

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Sandra M. Reed and Timothy A. Rinehart

Genetic diversity studies using 39 simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers were carried out with 114 taxa of Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser., including 87 H. macrophylla ssp. macrophylla cultivars and 20 members of H. macrophylla ssp. serrata (Thunb.) Makino. The SSR loci were highly variable among the taxa, producing a mean of 8.26 alleles per locus. Overall allelic richness was relatively high at 5.12 alleles per locus. H. macrophylla ssp. serrata contained nearly twice the allelic diversity of H. macrophylla ssp. macrophylla. The majority of genetic diversity was found to reside within the subspecies, with only 12% of the total genetic diversity observed occurring between subspecies. Although the elevation of H. macrophylla ssp. serrata to species level has recently been recommended by several hydrangea authorities, these data support the subspecies designation. Four cultivars (Preziosa, Pink Beauty, Tokyo Delight, and Blue Deckle) appeared to be hybrids between the two subspecies. Genetic similarities were found among five remontant cultivars (Bailmer, Oak Hill, David Ramsey, Decatur Blue, and Penny Mac) and several nonremontant cultivars, including General Vicomtesse de Vibraye, Nikko Blue, All Summer Beauty, and La France. No close genetic relationship was found between the remontant cultivar Early Sensation and other remontant cultivars. Genetic similarities were found among variegated and double-flower cultivars. Within H. macrophylla ssp. macrophylla, cultivars with mophead inflorescences clustered separately from most lacecap cultivars. This indicates the cultivars with lacecap inflorescences that were among some of the earliest introductions to Europe were not widely used in the breeding of mophead forms. Some presumed synonyms were found to be valid (‘Preziosa’ and ‘Pink Beauty’, ‘Rosalba’ and ‘Benigaku’, ‘Geoffrey Chadbund’ and ‘Mowe’), whereas others were not (‘Harlequin’ and ‘Monrey’, ‘Nigra’ and ‘Mandschurica’). This study identified potentially unexploited sources of germplasm within H. macrophylla and relationships between existing cultivars of this popular shrub. This information should be of value when selecting parents for breeding programs.