Plant Breeding 115(3): 162-166 (Aug 1996)
Interspecific hybridization between Cyclamen persicum Mill, and C. purpurascens Mill.
A. Ewald
Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau Gro beeren/Erfurt, Abteilung Zierpflanzen, Mittelhäuser Strasse, D- 99189 Kuhnhausen, Germany


In order to introduce valuable traits from wild species of Cyclamen into C. persicum cultivars, crosses were made between C. persicum 'Reinweiß'and C. purpurascens. Crossing barriers between C. persicum 'Reinweiß'and C. purpurascens were due to late-acting incompatibility reactions. Interspecific hybrids were obtained by using ovary culture. The highest number of embryos was achieved from placentas excised 21 days and 35 days after pollination and transferred to Murashige-Skoog (M.S.)–medium containing 6% sucrose and 1% agar. The hybrids showed a habit and a chromosome number intermediate between the parents. The fragrant flowers were pale red-purple. The chromosome number in root tips was determined as 2n = 41 while in C. persicum it is 2n = 48 and in C. purpurascens 2n = 34. Due to the different parental chromosome sizes, chromosomes of distinct size were still observed in the hybrid. Pollen viability varied between 0.3 and 34.0%. Parents and interspecific hybrids also showed differences in the DNA content of leaf tissue. Flow cytometric analyses were useful in the early identification of hybrids.