Daylilies forum: Daylilies from seed that all look almost identical to parents

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 29, 2014 6:07 PM CST
How many times have we seen or heard the phrase "daylilies will not come true from seed." That is true, but I just watched a video by Karol Emmerich and she made the statement that some daylilies are so strong that they produce seedlings that nearly all look almost identical to their parents. She went on to say that those are not the kind of plants we want to use in hybridizing, because we are after plants that look different.
So naturally it seems that if the hybridizers are all breeding for plants that do not come true from seed that is certainly what we end up with. I am just wondering how close they could come to seed produced plants that would be almost clones of the parents if they tried?
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jun 29, 2014 6:16 PM CST
They make look identical to parents but they cannot be genetically identical. When you cross a flower you are introducing pollen from another plant to that flower and the seed that results will have genetics from the pollen plant as well, even if it looks identical to one or the other plant involved in the cross.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 29, 2014 6:23 PM CST
Yes, that would be important to the hybridizer, I am thinking of the gardener who wants lots of plants that look a certain way and perform well in the garden. Even just pretty close would be good enough for probably 80 percent or more of actual daylily growers. I just wonder how close they could come in producing plants with the same height, bud count and flower size and looks, it seems Karol Emmerich made a conscious effort to avoid such plants even after all the breeding to get that trait out of them.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jun 29, 2014 6:24 PM CST
Yes, I would want a totally different looking plant and not something that looks to close to the original.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 29, 2014 6:40 PM CST
If you could duplicate the plants almost from seed you could have a full border of almost identical plants, or grow twenty five of so of several different colors and then blend them in alternating patterns, very cheaply. I can certainly see applications for such seeds. Of course we are not talking about plants with name tags announcing them, but plants used as plants in gardens.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jun 29, 2014 7:04 PM CST
It would not be very difficult to produce a seed-based daylily strain that had a reasonably uniform appearance. Older strains or varieties of vegetables and flowers (some of the 'heirloom' varieties) are open-pollinated varieties and quite stable and uniform. A daylily seed strain would be basically the same as an open pollinated heirloom variety.

Although not difficult it would take some time. In annual vegetables and flowers one generation is one year or if one arranges to grow the next generation in the other hemisphere then it is half a year. It would probably require five or six consecutive generations to produce daylily seed strains that conformed to the rules of distinctness, uniformity and stability that allow the registration of named seed strains. That might mean as long as 18 years (or longer) or as few as five or six years in warm winter locations such as Florida.

It would be useful if the daylilies chosen could be successfully self-pollinated. That would making achieving the uniformity easier/quicker although possibly with the problem of the loss of some vigour.
Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Jun 29, 2014 7:09 PM CST
Roses in Snow seeds for me have produced almost identical looking blooms. I have several seedlings from a cross I received from Sandi and even though the tags were carried off or destroyed by wildlife, there is no mistaking who one of the parents are to these plants. The difference in some of the plants is height. Bud count. And the width of the creme color border on the blooms. But the color is pretty darn close to Roses in Snow. Someone had written that RIS showed some resistance to rust. In my yard, that is not true of these RIS seedlings. They have rust. Not horrible rust, but still do get infected. Perhaps the other parent was a rust bucket. (That parent is unknown.)

I agree with what Karol said about wanting to use parents that do in fact produce something different and perhaps avoid those cultivars that don't.

Maurice - You always post some thought-provoking information. Thank you!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Jun 29, 2014 9:37 PM CST
Focusing on the idea of a line of daylilies that, when bred, create nearly identical offspring is a really useful discussion. Like in other breeding arenas, it could produce lines that help us learn about all sorts of attributes, sort of like how we learn from medical science research, and allows breeders to more easily select for characteristics they desire. Just like in dog breeding, highly inbred lines do need out-crossing to regain stability in health and vigor, but the nature of both dominant and recessive genes becomes so better predicted that they actually create formulas and time-tables for outcrossings.

Similarly, a stable plant line also allows hybridizers to easily cull out undesirable traits and increase reliability and performance of desired traits. I know that for many gardeners there is a deep interest in plants that would be very uniform and "true to form." Like Seed mentions, that's clearly not the aim of hybridizers who are seeking to emphasize the new varieties that Cindy notes ... but it would be interesting to hear about more examples that show breeding along lines that are true to form, like Becky identified in Roses in Snow:

Illustrating Admmad's Six Consecutive Generations, with Becky's Roses in Snow lineage, showing how it stabilizes a line and creates lovely variations on a theme:




I know, for example, that Trahlyta seems to be another pretty consistent producer - I can easily spot most its offspring even a few generations down the line.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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[Last edited by chalyse - Jun 30, 2014 8:13 AM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jun 30, 2014 7:28 AM CST
Galaxy Explosion also produces seedlings that look a lot lot it with the exception of a few, of course.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jul 1, 2014 8:15 AM CST
I mentioned previously that one cultivar that produces seedlings that look similar to it is Galaxy Explosion. I had one bloom today. Coloring is similar, size is larger.

GALAXY EXPLOSION X REBEKAH'S GOTHIC SPIDER
Thumb of 2014-07-01/Hemlady/234d2c

Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 1, 2014 8:54 AM CST
Seedfork said:...some daylilies are so strong that they produce seedlings that nearly all look almost identical to their parents.

I apologize but I have a quibble.
The quote above suggests that some daylilies could be considered prepotent (in breeding terms, for example, meaning "showing great effectiveness in transmitting hereditary characteristics to its offspring" from a Google search). But if one makes crosses in which both parents are very similar in appearance then one cannot really see whether one cultivar is prepotent. And having similar looking flowers is not the only way in which a plant can and perhaps should be prepotent. Other important characteristics might be size of the flower, height of the scape, season of bloom, etc.

My question would then be, which cultivars are prepotent when crossed with any other daylily, not just those with similarly coloured flowers, size of flowers, height of the scapes, etc.?

Maurice
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jul 1, 2014 8:55 AM CST
See your point.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Jul 1, 2014 9:17 AM CST
I think that is a wonderful addition to the scope of "prepotent" (and not considered a quibble). Like in other breeding endeavors, I think that sampling, and in some cases testing, of offspring is important.

In one scenario, two look alike parents can also be bred to other partners, perhaps specifically chosen to have a different look than them, to see how often look alikes might be produced. And so on, for other characteristics. When a cultivar is consistently associated with offspring that carry similar attributes, no matter how many other different kinds of parents were paired to the one in question to produce them, it may give some idea of the potency of the parent.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 1, 2014 12:17 PM CST
That is a good point if you happen to use two similar looking blooming plants for a cross. I think it would be interesting to cross something like Galaxy Explosion or Roses in Snow with a unusual patterned, toothy, or ruffled cultivar. Would be interesting to REALLY mix up the parentage when hybridizing to see what comes through in the children plants.

One of the features I really like here on ATP is the plant database that allows us to click on the parents or children files to see what some of the genetic traits are that might be likely to get passed on. Though some of the cultivars have such numerous and diverse genetic lines that it may seem that just about anything is possible when crossing! I love the seemingly endless possibilities! I never get bored experimenting with hybridizing!

I know most folks here are daylily cultivar collectors. I think the only reason I would want to purchase a named cultivar is for the genetic possibilities to use in my hybridizing. I have a heart for hybridizing and would much prefer a hybrid seedling than a named plant. I am one of those people who are drawn to daylilies for the hybridizing possibilities. I am not looking to sell plants, I just enjoy messing with genetics. I must have missed my calling in life and should have been a botanist or geneticist or something .... Whistling Hilarious!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Bob Watson
Terre Haute, IN (Zone 5b)
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BobW
Jul 1, 2014 2:32 PM CST
re: Tet conversions as prepotent....

At one of the recent Shirley Farmer meetings, some of the top hybridizers (Gossard, Polston, etc.) were discussing the inheritance of traits. One of them made the point that tetraploid conversions are very powerful breeders for carrying on the traits they themselves display. That makes sense since whatever dominant genes they carry for color, edges, or form as a diploid, have been doubled, which greatly increases the chances of them passing on those genes instead of hidden, recessive traits. I would think tet conversions would be called 'prepotent'.

You can see this if you go to the AHS database and look for all offspring of 'Spindazzle' and select for 'tetraploid'. You will be looking at the offspring of the tet conversion. You'll see how many have the basic color pattern and narrow form of Spindazzle. It was even mentioned in the meeting that it's hard to get any colors other than yellow with rust-red or plain yellow even several generations down the line from Spindazzle. (I am not sure if you can do such a search for offspring on the ATP database...I'm a new user and need to familiarize myself with it!)

It has also been mentioned by 'those in the know' that generally speaking, it is easiest to use tet conversions as the pollen parent since the test for conversion often involves the appearance of the pollen under a microscope. The eggs may be diploid, tetraploid, or infertile in an incomplete or unstable conversion. That isn't to say you can't use any specific tet conversion as pod parent, but it may be difficult.

re: line breeding to create 'prepotent' parents...

When you continually select for certain traits and back-cross to parents and/or cross between sibs, you are practicing line breeding....you are outsorting 'undesirable' traits in every generation, coming closer to a strain that breeds true. That would be like the heirloom or 'open pollinated' strains that Maurice referred to above. This is what happens when everyone is looking, say, for a better, deeper purple. Everyone crosses purples to purples, throwing away everything else, or at least not re-breeding them back to the purple line. After a while, you can get a purple that breeds pretty consistently for more like it, within a narrow range of differences.

I have never tested the theory, and it would take several generations, but most textbooks tell you that continual inbreeding (line breeding) with the introduction of no new outside genes will likely lower the vigor of the strain. If this happens, the introduction of new, completely different genes from another strain (say, another line of purple), will result in hybrid vigor. I've always wanted to try out the line breeding, to test this, but don't have the time and space. Would make a great project, though.

BTW - anyone within driving distance of central Ohio should check out the Shirley Farmer meetings. They're open to the public, with a fee to help pay for the room and a lunch. They're really informative for hybridizers and a great chance to rub shoulders with some of the movers and shakers from the Northern Mecca.

Thanks for the great thread, everyone!


Bob

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