Quantitative inheritance of crop timing traits in interspecific hybrid Petunia populations and interactions with crop quality parameters

J Hered. May-Jun 2010;101(3):308-16. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esp131. Epub 2010 Feb 8.


The leaf unfolding rate (i.e., development rate) and the number of nodes forming prior to floral initiation are 2 factors determining production times for floriculture crops. Wild relative species of the cultivated petunia (Petunia x hybrida Vilm.) that exhibited faster development rates than modern cultivars and may therefore be useful genetic sources to develop cultivars with decreased production time were identified. Three interspecific F(2) families, Petunia exserta Stehmann x P. axillaris (Lam.) Britton et al., P. x hybrida 'Mitchell' x P. axillaris, and P. axillaris x P. integrifolia (Hook.) Schinz & Thell. all exhibited transgressive segregation for development rate and node number below the first flower. Development rate and time to flower segregated independently in all families. Leaf number below the first flower was positively correlated with leaf unfolding rate in all families except P. axillaris x P. integrifolia. Time to flower was positively correlated with flower bud number in the P. x hybrida 'Mitchell' x P. axillaris and P. axillaris x P. integrifolia families only. Based on these results, wild Petunia germplasm should be useful for developing petunia cultivars with reduced crop production times, but some negative effects on crop quality parameters may need to be overcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chimera / genetics*
  • Chimera / growth & development
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / growth & development
  • Petunia / genetics*
  • Petunia / growth & development
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*