Flower-size heritability and floral heat-shock tolerance in diploid roses

In a new study, the effect of heat on rose flowers was examined by measuring flower size in 10 diploid rose populations created by crossing the heat-tolerant Texas A&M University (TAMU) breeding lines (M4-4, J06-20-14-3) and sensitive (97/7-2, ‘Red Fairy’, ‘Sweet Chariot’, ‘Vineyard Song’, ‘Old Blush’, and ‘Little Chief’) diploid roses.

As expected, the populations and individual seedlings differed in flower size. The heat-shock treatment (1 hour at 44 °C) decreased flower diameter (15.7%), petal number (23.3%), and flower dry weight (16.9%). Flower-size traits had moderately low narrow-sense (0.24, 0.12, and 0.34 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) and moderately high broad-sense (0.62, 0.74, and 0.76 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) heritability indicating important nonadditive genetic effects.

If rose genotypes vary in floral heat tolerance, a differential response to heat among populations, seedlings, or both detected statistically by a significant interaction effect would be expected. Both the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the restricted estimated maximum likelihood (REML) analyses showed a positive population × heat stress interaction effect for flower diameter.

Although the data indicate differences in floral heat tolerance among the populations and genotypes, the effect was small as compared with the other sources of variation. Thus, using this 1-hour heat-shock approach would not be an effective strategy to select for floral heat tolerance in rose.

Access the full study at HortScience

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