Lilies forum: Lily Genetics

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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 21, 2012 8:18 AM CST
Is it a reasonable assumption that in cross pollenation the majority of seedlings will usually favor the pod parent in most characturistics? I have to say for as long I've been growing lilies, genetics is an area which I'm totally ignorant--at least I feel that way!

My apologies for misspelling "genetics' in the heading of this thread.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Sep 22, 2012 10:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
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magnolialover
Sep 21, 2012 4:46 PM CST

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I had heard that it will have the form of the pod parent and perhaps the coloration of the pollen. But sometimes neither is true.
Tracey
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 21, 2012 11:46 PM CST
magnolialover said: ... But sometimes neither is true.


Exactly. I think the question has to be taken pretty much on a case by case basis, or at least group by group.

In the case of my own cross L. leicthtlinii x L. maculatum (pod parent x pollen parent), because both parents are species, there is little variation in the F1 generation.
size favors leichtlinii
leaves are midway
flower aspect variable
flower size and shape midway
flower color definitely favors maculatum

Other crosses I have are not really mature enough for data to be conclusive.
--
However, an interesting side note is a daylily cross I did of Hemerocallis 'Siloam Ury Winnifred' x H. citrina.
form favors citrina
size is midway
leaves favor citrina
flower scape midway
flower form favors Ury Winnifred
flower color midway, I guess you would say
--


As I thought about the original question, the answer became more and more complex. And I found myself delving more into Mendelian genetics and logic, rather than so much actual knowledge of real outcome. I had written this yesterday, and now rereading it today, I don't see it as so relevant. Still, a few of you may find it interesting. For the rest of you not interested in this drivel, skip to the last paragraph.


1) In the case of a species crossed with a hybrid with greater genetic diversity, from the viewpoint of one-to-one correlations of genetics, the species would have the upper hand in progeny characteristics.

In a simplified example, all progeny would have a set of basic (x) characteristics donated by the species. But with matching genetics coming from a hybrid, this same basic set could be a, b, c, d or e, even though it is only (a), for instance, that is expressed in the hybrid parent. Thus the progeny would be:
xa or ax
xb or bx
xc or cx
xd or dx
xe or ex
Obviously, this favors the species characteristics, whether pod or pollen parent, as the set (x) is in every combination. whether this is true in practicality is yet another question.

(2) Using this same simplistic concept, with two hybrids of equal genetic diversity, there would be no favoring of groups.

3) Sometimes simple genetics from a certain clone is overwhelming in regards to the pollen genetics, so much so that even an expert might not be able to tell if a seedling is apomictic or merely a mimicking hybrid. This would favor the pod parent characteristics. Such an example might be with the Claude Shride Martagon lily. I am not sure if these genes with extra "clout" would have the same effect as a pollen donor. My guess is that in some clones the answer is yes, some no.

3) Apomixis has not been studied well in lilies to know what factor(s) trigger it. Their could be and probably is the capability in many species (and hybrids) generally thought never to do it, just as we have been finding out with bulbil production.

4) There is always the common "problem" of dominance that mires simple calculations.

5) Where incompatibility might factor into breeding possibilities, this releases another set of variables. A couple are:
(a) Even partial incompatibility could be a trigger for apomixis.
(b) Even though the embryo itself is a bred hybrid, at least some of the other parts of the seed are not. They come solely from the pod parent genetics. As you probably already know, it is the incompatibility of the hybrid embryo and the endosperm (solely from the pod parent) that often prevents successful natural germination. So this favors hybrid embryos that are compatible with the endosperm, and therefore with more of the pod parent characteristics. (Remember, this is why embryo rescue was "invented".)

6) In polyploid lilies, it is generally known that a pod parent with x-ploidy, might be pollinated with x-ploidy or (x+y)-ploidy pollen, where y is a one (or greater) integer.
Dealing with only one allele in a chromosome, with an example of a triploid (pod parent) x tetraploid that yields triploid progeny: it's obvious that donor combinations from the triploid parent are far less than that of the tetraploid. Similar to (1) above, with the donor sets from the triploid parent being less than that of the tetroploid, characteristic would tend to favor the pod parent triploid.

In addition, all theses factors (and more) might interact with one another.

While the favoring of pod parent characteristics in progeny does seem to happen more often than not, the reasons are not always clear, and there is certainly no one general guiding principle that could explain the phenomenon. Since many factors (known and unknown) are at work, a generalization cannot be made for all different kinds of crosses because we would never know when, if or what factors are at work.
A fairer statement would be:
Don't be surprised if the progeny seems to favor the pod parent's characteristics.

[Last edited by Leftwood - Sep 25, 2012 7:08 PM (+)]
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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 22, 2012 7:57 AM CST
Rick--thanks for taking the time to go into detail. It IS very relavent and interesting. I read your response three times and in rewinding my memories, some of what you put on paper I've observed thru my general working with lilies and tucked away as personal knowledge over time. But I kept thinking(and still do): looking foward, there must be a better way--a way to have better foresight of the outcome when I go about drawing up my cross pollenation charts. I absorb technical info/data easily so if you have more to share and feel it's out of place here, would you Tree Mail it along with any suggested reading material. This year I want to work up some of my Div VI crosses with L. Davidii for future backcrossing.

Using Tracey's example: What about color genetics? Are there some colors that tend to dominate in cross pollenation or what if I cross two pinks; what will I get?. It's my feeling that I could get a darker pink than both parents but no lighter pink than the darker pink minus the lighter pink. Is that correct?

I think this thread can be both technical and non technical. So much is learned thru sharing non technical observations; we all learn together!
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Sep 22, 2012 10:34 AM (+)]
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Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
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magnolialover
Sep 22, 2012 8:07 AM CST

Moderator

It's sort of like figuring out what your kids are going to look like. Genetics, a very complex and not always very straight forward study. But this be true, it is always interesting.
Tracey
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 22, 2012 10:28 AM CST
Gosh, I'll say! I think it's the waiting three years of anticipation to see the results--always a surprize. And what's equally enjoyable and amazing is seeing what other seeders come up with!
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
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pardalinum
Sep 22, 2012 11:13 AM CST

Moderator

Discussion along the lines of this thread should stay here in the forum. The title is clear and people can skip over it if they are not interested. I can think of at least five of us who dabble in hybridizing and we can all benefit from the discussion. My 2 cents.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 22, 2012 7:05 PM CST
pardalinum said:Discussion along the lines of this thread should stay here in the forum.

Absolutely, and thus my "option" to skip to the last paragraph. My relevancy remark was meant as how relevant my thoughts were to actual outcomes. That the thought process is academic genetics.


Roosterlorn said:Are there some colors that tend to dominate in cross pollenation?

Orange tends to be a dominant color where it is present. I don't know about others; there certainly could be. I believe others have mention that there are.

what if I cross two pinks; what will I get? It's my feeling that I could get a darker pink than both parents but no lighter pink than the darker pink minus the lighter pink. Is that correct?

Perhaps, but it's not that straight forward. If color was that simple, then I am sure people (amateur and professional) would have bred darker improvements on the Midnight strain decades ago, simply by crossing and recrossing darker progeny.
And if the pink parents are hybrids, you return to the variables of a,b,c,d,e x a,b,c,d,e concept, with all kinds of possibilities. Somewhere in there are the possibilities of darker pink. Color is far more complex than a pink gene, a green gene, a red gene, etc. However, sometimes we get lucky, and it really is quite simple.

I don't understand your thinking when you say: but no lighter pink than the darker pink minus the lighter pink --So if you crossed two dark pinks, almost of the same saturation, you would expect progeny no lighter than a very light pink tint? I would have expected you to say "but no lighter than the lightest pink parent". Confused

Other important things to know:
--- there can be more than one gene for the same color, even in the same plant.
--- white is not the absence of color; it is a genetic code, too.
--- there are also genes thought of as color blockers, that prevent certain colors from being expressed, even though that particular color gene is present.
--- there is(are) such a thing as color enhancers, that affect colors and are not color genes. The results of my L. leichtlinii x L. maculatum cross may be an example. Yellow x orange = darker orange. http://garden.org/thread/view_post/286312/

(sidenote: I see I had previously erroneously reported that the resulting flower aspect was "midway", but it is obviously "variable".)
[Last edited by Leftwood - Sep 22, 2012 7:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 23, 2012 7:56 AM CST
Hi Rick:

I see, I didn't word the question correctly but within the context of your post you did answer my question along with some additional interesting notes. See, my original thinking was that if crossed a light pink parent with a dark pink parent that I wouldn't get a perfect blend with normal distribution i.e. a perfect bell curve. Instead I thought the colors might be additive; and if that were the case, the bell curve would be shifted toward the dark side with some of the population exceeding the darkest parent intensity and all of the population would be darker than the lightest parent.

But, as you pointed out using Midnight as an example, that's simply (or not so simply) not the case with strains.

I thought orange was always pretty much dominant when present. What are the most recessive colors? Is there a 'pecking order' of dominance, one color over another to be aware of? Again, you know I work with Div VI, but with color dominance/recessiveness, would that be that pretty much the same 'accross the board' regardless of Division?.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 23, 2012 7:44 PM CST
It seems, I think, that there was a short discussion on color dominance on the Yahoo Lilium group in the last year. You might want to try searching the group's site. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lilium/

Your hope that two dark pink parents might produce darker pink progeny is not that unusual, and is often true. That the bell curve might shift to the darker end is also a reasonable assumption, but just not always true. It's really a luck of the draw, that the genetics in question will "cooperate" to that end. But the odds, in most cases, are in your favor. Take note that my example of the Midnight strain was meant to exemplify the point with all crosses, not just strains.

Genetics can be extremely confusing. We all learned in school the simple Mendelian concept of dominance and recessiveness, but it is all so not that simple. Another hypothetical example:
P=dominant pink allele
p=recessive white allele

So the gene combinations are: PP, Pp and pp.
The very basic genetic teaching will say this results in 2 (not 3 or 4) phenotypes (read: visually expressed results):
1) Pink (the PP and Pp genes)
2) white (the pp gene)

For a long time, there was no dissent. But now as knowledge progresses and more factors become known, it's not that straight forward. Even in this simplest hypothetical example, there is now proof that PP is sometimes darker than Pp - we might expect that, but also that Pp is sometimes even darker pink than PP!

Regarding your other questions, I just don't know. Certainly good queries to put to more knowledgeable people, like the Yahoo Lilium group or some of the European Lily groups (at least the ones that converse in English) or the SRGC forum (they have an on going Lilium thread).

Mother Nature is so grand! Life and nature (and flowers) would be so boring without these twists and turns. Big Grin
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 25, 2012 6:23 AM CST
Well then, I guess Mother Nature must be watching over me, because in spite of my ignorance of genetics, I still come up with some pretty nice stuff overall. I guess I could say a person doesn't necessarily need to know a lot about lily genetics but it can help if one does--and then we'll let mother nature do the rest. I've got some more questions that don't concern color but I want to slow the tempo down a little and spread them out over the next few weeks. Hopefully others will post in with some questions and answers along the way too.

I've been monitoring that Yahoo forum on and off for about a year and a half or so. Guess I should probably become active in it. Thanks for the tip--It might get me started!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 25, 2012 5:48 PM CST

Norgart Martschinke is well known in martagon circles, and all her hybrids are bee pollinated...
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 25, 2012 7:49 PM CST
Now, this is interesting, real interesting! My Dad raised 10 to 15 large colonies of honey bees for many, many years (for honey to sell). And he also raised lilium; scaling, hand pollenating, etc in large numbers to sell. He had lilies in large plots dedicated to one or two cultivars intentionally in each plot. And he would place a hive and colony on one end. He claimed he got a broader, more complete spectrum of combinations because pollenation took place over several days as opposed to a single dose of hand pollenation. That was long ago and at the time I really didn't care and Dad has since past away. But now--I'm wondering what the results would be if, in a controlled pollenation, we revisited and lightly applied the same pollen on day 2,3,4, etc.--something to think about!

Any suggested reading on Norgart Martschinke, Rick? I'd be interested in her work.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 31, 2013 9:17 AM CST
Spurred by another discussion elsewhere, Lilium cernuum is one of the favorites in breeding parentage, because if its mix of floral color genes. Besides the high quality pink color, this species possesses at least one color blocking gene that has the ability to turn off the expression of certain color genes. In simplistic terms for example, if a lily has an orange gene, that lily is orange. If that orange lily also has a color blocking gene for that color orange, then the lily would not be orange. Then would it be white? Perhaps. Or, another color that has always been present might show up because the strong orange color is no longer there to overshadow it. (Similar to why fall leaves turn color.... the reds and yellows are there all summer, too, but the green is so predominant that it overshadows the other colors.)

It is not known with surety whether Lilium cernuum album is white because of the lack of other color genes, or because blocking color genes are employed. Most alba forms of other species (not just lilies) are due to the absence of other colors, and the presence of whatever constitutes a "white" gene. Also with most alba forms, the mutation or the combining of genes that results in its expression, may not be that rare, and it is probable that in any species, alba forms can pop up as unrelated specimens in diverse populations.

Back to my statement: "It is not known with surety whether Lilium cernuum album is white because of the lack of other color genes, or because blocking color genes are employed", the hard data of the different forms in the trade would suggest the latter. This then, would explain the diversity of L. cernuum album forms, because of the individually inherent diversity of color genetics. The other explanation would be that color has crept into the lines of L. cernuum album through accidental pollination by normally colored L. cernuum.
Name: della
hobart, tasmania
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dellac
Nov 2, 2013 5:48 AM CST
Thanks Rick, fascinating information!

I'm even more keen now to see what colours this form will produce in its offspring. If it is a colour-blocker it should be great for breaking orange dominance?
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Nov 2, 2013 8:33 AM CST
dellac said: If it is a colour-blocker it should be great for breaking orange dominance?


Only if the resulting progeny have active color blocking gene(s) for that particular orange gene(s) that a lily may have. I don't think anyone actually knows how color blocking works, only that it does. It stands to reason that there would be multiple color genes for orange, multiple genes for yellow, etc. Similarly their could also need to be corresponding color blocking genes for each. There's a lot more (not well understood) things that can go on besides simple Mendelian genetics, too. A lily may actually have a dominant color blocking gene, for instance, but for whatever reason, it is still not outwardly expressed. In fact, I don't even think people know for sure if there are dominant and recessive color blocking genes at all.
[Last edited by Leftwood - Nov 2, 2013 8:35 AM (+)]
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