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Jinggui Fang, Chih Cheng Chao, Richard J. Henny, and Jianjun Chen

Plant tissue culture can induce a variety of genetic and epigenetic changes in regenerated plantlets, a phenomenon known as somaclonal variation. Such variation has been widely used in the ornamental foliage plant industry as a source for selection of new cultivars. In ornamental aroids alone, at least 63 somaclonal-derived cultivars have been released. In addition to morphological differences, many somaclonal aroid cultivars can be distinguished by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. However, a few cultivars have no detectable polymorphisms with their parents or close relatives by AFLP fingerprints. It is postulated that DNA methylation may be involved in the morphological changes of these cultivars. In this study, methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) technique was used to study DNA methylation in selected somaclonal cultivars of Alocasia, Aglaonema, Anthurium, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, and Syngonium. Results showed that polymorphisms were detected in the somaclonal cultivars, suggesting that DNA methylation polymorphisms may associate with tissue culture-induced mutation in ornamental aroids. This is the first study of methylation variation in somaclonal variants of ornamental foliage plants. The results clearly demonstrate that the MSAP technique is highly efficient in detecting DNA methylation events in somaclonal-derived cultivars.

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Teresa E. Seijo, Natalia A. Peres, and Zhanao Deng

Caladium ( Caladium × hortulanum Birdsey) is an ornamental aroid grown as landscape and potted plants. They are valued for their colorful foliage that comes in various leaf shapes and coloration patterns containing shades of red, pink, white

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Zhanao Deng, Fahrettin Goktepe, and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladiums are ornamental aroids widely grown as pot plants or used in landscapes as accent or border plants. Commercial pot caladium plants are produced by forcing tubers, while dry tubers are available for garden or landscape planting ( Evans et

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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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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 and Brent K. Harbaugh

The ornamental value of caladium (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey) depends primarily on leaf characteristics, including leaf shape and main vein color. Caladium leaf shapes are closely associated with plant growth habit, stress tolerance, and tuber yield; leaf main vein colors are often used for cultivar identification. Thirty-eight crosses were made among 10 cultivars and two breeding lines; their progeny were analyzed to understand the inheritance of leaf shape and main vein color and to determine if there is a genetic linkage between these two traits. Results showed that a single locus with three alleles determined the main vein color in caladium. The locus was designated as V, with alleles V r, V w, and V g for red, white, and green main veins, respectively. The white vein allele was dominant over the green vein allele, but it was recessive to the red vein allele, which was dominant over both white and green vein alleles; thus the dominance order of the alleles is V r > V w > V g. Segregation data indicated that four major red-veined cultivars were heterozygous with the genotype Vr V g, and that one white-veined cultivar was homozygous and one other white-veined cultivar and one breeding line were heterozygous. The observed segregation data confirmed that the three leaf shapes in caladium were controlled by two co-dominant alleles at one locus, designated as F and f, for fancy and strap leaves, respectively. The skewedness of leaf shape segregation in some of the crosses implied the existence of other factors that might contribute to the formation of leaf shape. Contingency chi-square tests for independence revealed that caladium leaf shape and main vein color were inherited independently. The chi-square tests for goodness-of-fit indicated that the five observed segregation patterns for leaf shape and main vein color fit well to the expected ratio assuming that two co-dominant and three dominant/recessive alleles control leaf shape and main vein color and they are inherited independently.

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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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S. Brooks Parrish and Zhanao Deng

Cultivated caladium (Caladium × hortulanum; 2n = 2x = 30) is an important ornamental aroid for the environmental horticulture industry. A better understanding of its genetic diversity is needed for continued improvement of caladium. The caladium germplasm maintained in the University of Florida’s caladium breeding program were surveyed for potential variation in chromosome number and nuclear DNA content to gain a better understanding of caladium genetic diversity at the cytogenetic level. For the first time caladium triploidy was discovered in two breeding lines, UF-15-414 and UF-4407 with 2n = 3x = 45 chromosomes and a nuclear DNA content of 13.86 pg·2C−1. In addition, a new chromosome number (2n = 2x = 34) was found in one cultivar, ‘White Wing’. Compared with their diploid parents or grandparents, the triploids showed a distinct, attractive leaf morphology with rounder and thicker leaves. The pollen stainability of UF-15-414 and UF-4407 was 63% and 73%, respectively, indicating potential male fertility, which was unexpected. Analysis of simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker banding patterns confirmed that UF-15-414 was a direct progeny of UF-4407 through hybridization with the diploid cultivar Aaron, whereas UF-4407 might result from fusion of an unreduced (female or male) gamete with a reduced gamete. Chromosome counting and SSR marker analysis of ‘White Wing’ and its progeny cultivars ‘White Wonder’ and ‘White Delight’ suggested that ‘White Wing’ possibly transmitted its 34 chromosomes to progeny during sexual reproduction. The discovery and characterization of these triploids revealed the occurrence of natural sexual polyploidization in caladium and indicated good potential for creating and selecting new triploids for future caladium breeding. The observed new chromosome number in ‘White Wing’ and its progeny cultivars implies that other chromosome variations may be present among cultivated caladiums. In summary, these results revealed two male-fertile triploid caladiums and a new chromosome number that can enrich the cytogenetic diversity in future caladium cultivar development.

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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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Zhe Cao, Shunzhao Sui, Qian Yang, and Zhanao Deng

Cultivated caladium is an ornamental aroid produced for container or hanging basket plants or grown in landscapes for their variably shaped, colorful foliage. The ornamental value of caladium plants, to a great extent, depends on their leaf