Wednesday, January 19, 2022

My Polyploid/Tetraploid Introductions as a Reflection of my Multipronged Approach to Developing My Program

 My Polyploid/Tetraploid Introductions 

A Reflection of my Multipronged Approach to Developing My Program

To see larger versions of any image on this page, just click on the image.

Rust Resistance Rating of all my Introductions, click here.

My Introductions, click here.

Daylily availability, click here.

My program is laid out on a twenty year time schedule, with the first half devoted to identifying breeding stock from established programs and from species materials - testing them, hybridizing from them, and then selecting the first generation seedlings from the various crosses that have some (usually just some) of my desired traits. There are specific flower phenotypes that interest me, so I have made an effort to focus on hybrid cultivars compatible with that vision to use as outcrosses to species and to interbreed with other hybrid types. I spent the first decade of my program working to produce and identify some great F1 species outcross hybrid plants, looking for excellent seedlings both from crossing back to species and crossing within the hybrids, all while also looking for great plants from other programs.

The second decade is about taking the materials I established through the first decade and work them into the phenotypes I wish to see. I honestly don't really consider any introduction that doesn't have at least one of my own seedling as a parent to be 'part of my program'. The F1 crosses that I have introduced are preliminary and foundational to my program, but my program will come out of them. I want to produce the plants of my F1 species hybrids combined with the flower forms and color that I like. That is the work of another decade, of course. From about 2020 the majority of my crosses have become blendings of my own seedlings, both (Species cross F1 X Secondary hybrid cross) and (secondary hybrid cross X secondary hybrid cross). I consider that to be the true start of my program.

I have shown the image below in various places on this site, but it is the most important mission statement concerning my tetraploid program. Click the image for a larger version to read the full text, or read about the basis of my tetraploid program here.

Click for a larger version

In short, my tetraploid program is about bringing in new genetic material at the tetraploid level and then using the best plants that derive from those crosses as a base for creating my lines of daylilies. I have approached bringing in species material in two ways - through outcrossing to species types that are fertile with tetraploids, and through using hybrid tetraploid cultivars that are not closely related to the majority of the tetraploid gene pool and that are also close to species types. I have five major directions I have utilized to make this outcrossed base.

Species and Species-like Base Plants

The above slide shows the main four daylilies I used for the species and near species base tetraploid outcrosses. They are H. fulva "Korean", Implausibility, Ancient Elf and Notify Ground Crew. For more on each of them, click the name to go to the description page. Click here to read about The Four Bases level of my program. Click the image above to read the text.


The fifth base plant at the species level in my program is Temple Of Bacchus, which has a very interesting parentage and backstory. Click here to read more about Temple Of Bacchus

Secondary Cultivars from other hybridizing programs

However, to make a program of tetraploids based in outcrosses to species, you have to have something to outcross to those species. To that end, I have made two categories for evaluating domestic hybrids. The first category, which all cultivars from other programs start in, is the tertiary layer (the third level - seen in the slide below). The only commitment I have to such plants is to give them a try. I may or may not breed from them, keep them or keep their offspring. Only time can tell. Those that are performing well, have traits I like, are fertile and seem to have some breeding value will likely leave the tertiary level and enter the secondary level at the testing level. The very best secondary plants reach base plant status and remain as permanent fixtures within the program. Tertiary plants are mostly crossed to species types or to secondary plants with good provenance, whether base plant level or not, within my program. 

And here again we see the multi-pronged approach I have undertaken. While I have been making the crosses between hybrid cultivars and species, I have also been working in parallel on hybrid x hybrid crosses, using the best plants I can find for my target traits to test, test mate, and through that, identify exceptional plants showing any number of a wide variety of desirable traits, including flower traits, to use both as outcrosses to the species plants and to use in further breeding with other hybrid plants. This is where the most important distinction between tertiary and secondary level plants comes into play - I do not inbreed with tertiary plants. I only tend to cross them with unrelated, very good secondary plants or to species plants. While secondary plants can be crossed with other secondary plants, crossed to species, and for those with the highest rating in the secondary category, they and their descendants can be backcrossed and inbred. I use selfing at times in any level, but that is done to get an insight into the potential for successfully inbreeding that line, so while this can happen with tertiary plants, it is generally only in the secondary and species like base plants that I will really explore inbreeding, selfing and backcrossing. To date, the only hybrid I have explored inbreeding with to any extent is Solaris Symmetry.

So in summary - when breeding hybrid cultivars, I am selecting for great plants with good flower traits, all non-species traits such as the melon mutation, non-orange or red anthocyanin, additive form genes like flattening, elongated petals, teeth, edges, pleating, etc., as well as patterns like broken eye patterning and eye/edge types. Now we will move on and look at my tetraploid introductions, below.

Tertiary Cultivars from other hybridizing programs
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My Tetraploid Introductions

For more on my introductions, click here.

At this time (January 2022) I have 33 tetraploid introductions and one polyploid (Temple Of Bacchus) that is registered as 'ploidy: unknown', which breeds with dips and tets in my garden. What I want to show you here through these introductions is how the different levels of my program are manifesting and interacting, so that you can see more clearly how I view them, their place within my program, and also how you might make use of them in your breeding program. 

Sixteen of my tetraploid introductions are first generation (F1) species/species-like outcrosses using a secondary or tertiary plant as the other parent. They are not crosses of species and species-like hybrids to just any old hybrid tetraploid daylily I had laying around though, but to the very best and most advanced flowers I had at that time, and of the types of flowers I have been interested in since I was beginning to plan this program around 2008.

When you look at the parentage of the plants in the image below, you may notice that many of the hybrid parents are purple flowered. Of the sixteen introductions in this category, ten have a purple hybrid cultivar parent. This was intentional, both to bring in purple anthocyanin and the melon mutation, which I believe is needed for the background pigmentation of good purples, but also to see just how purple and melon behaves when crossed over wildtype orange (anthocyanin) or yellow (carotene).

Click the image for large image

Names of Images Above - Click any name for the description page
Inset between Left Row and Center Left Row: Temple Of Bacchus
Center Left Row - Top to Bottom: Korean Queen, Origin Of Symmetry, Far Above The World
Bottom Row - Center - Elven Sunburst
Center Right Row - Top to Bottom: Spice Addiction, Sun Dragon

In my program the F1 species outcrosses have been used predominantly for backcrossing to hybrid types. Only one of my F1 species cross introductions has two of my four main species/species-like base plants as both parents (Eos At Dawn = <Notify Ground Crew x Implausibility>). My plan is to blend the four base plants later, through their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I did cross H. fulva Korean and Implausibility, but found this a difficult cross to set seeds here, for whatever reason. I do still have a seedling from that cross though, which I haven't used to any great extent. It went through all five years of rust screening with A+ rating. I also crossed Ancient Elf and Implausibility. I still have some seedlings from this cross that have been tested, bred from, but haven't yet been introduced (if they ever will be). They were all A+/5 years in my rust screening program. 

I have not interbred the F1 hybrids to any great extent, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, as much as I love the species look, that is not my ultimate goal (fancy flowers on big, vigorous plants with tall scapes is my long term goal). Second, I don't want to concentrate the spreading behavior of rhizomatous runner growth, so I haven't inbred any fulva F1 or backcrossed them to fulva species types. You might do so, and the introductions I have made in this category would likely work very well for making rhizomatous types or more species like types at the tetraploid level. It's just not my thing. I hope it is someone's thing though, and that is one of the reasons I have made the effort to introduce all of these that I have found to be good breeders and exceptional plants.

A third reason is that the F1 species outcross plants I made in those first years, and took through all five years of my rust screening program, are likely to always be with me, and so I feel I will always have plenty of species-like and orange just with them. In the future, I can use them in any way I like. A plant doesn't loose its fertility when it turns three years old! An individual daylily variety can survive for decades and be bred from years, decades, centuries after it is bred. So to me there is no rush to explore more obscure directions with these, and I like the thought of others taking this same material and going in their own directions with it. Finally, of the four base species types, only Notify Ground Crew would appear to have exceptional resistance to thrips, and I try to never inbreed, back cross or self a cultivar with poor thrips resistance, so that is also a reason I have not focused on interbreeding the species types at the species level. They can be brought together into lines by blending descendants who have this fault corrected.

My questions with this first generation of outcrossing have centered around finding the balance between the plant traits I want and the flower phenotypes I am interested in. (Can they even exist together? > preliminary assessment says , "Yes"). I am extremely satisfied with the results I have seen so far. The F1 seedlings I have introduced to date have all exceeded my expectation for what the flower could look like in the first generation. The backcross of F1 species outcross to hybrid x hybrid (second generation, but not technically F2) has also produced better than expected outcomes. I am just beginning to see some of the third generation from species seedlings and they have gone even further away from the species type flower traits and many have maintained excellent and robust plant traits.

At this point I don't have many of the unregistered F1 species outcrosses from the first years of my program left, though I generated thousands of these F1 species cross types over the first few years of my program. They were screened for rust resistance from 2012 through 2016 and I have continued to cull them each year with a heavy emphasis on resistance to thrips. In these final years of testing, they are being rated on flower traits and breeding value for both plant and flower traits. The ones that have been introduced to date are permanent fixtures now in my program, and in time, somewhere on down the line, in a few years or a decade (or two), I may dip back to those original F1 introductions with advanced seedlings or to start any number of other experiments, or even just for whimsy. I expect that a few of those remaining F1 species outcross seedlings that were bred in the first three or four years of my program will yet get introduced. I have bred a great deal with some of them, and I am certain one or two will yet need to be registered, especially if they end up having registered descendants in time.

I continued to make outcrosses to species until 2019. I stopped using Implausibility after 2014, Notify Ground Crew and Ancient Elf after 2016/2017, H. fulva Korean until 2019 and I also have bred from H. fulva Hankow from about 2015 to 2019. So there are still some seedlings coming along from F1 outcrosses. Some of these may make it to introduction. Those bred from 2016 through 2019 will not have been tested for rust resistance, while those from 2010 to 2015 all received between one to five years of rust resistance screening. I feel those F1 with the five year rust resistance screening are the most important of these F1 hybrid outcrosses that I will ever introduce.

2022 is a special year for me, representing a landmark in my tetraploid program. This year, I have five introductions, shown in the slide below, that mark the first time I have introduced tetraploid seedlings where one parent is one of my own seedlings and an introduction. These are the beginning of my own daylily program and are a beginning in terms of where I want to go with these lines. These five seedlings were bred in either 2013 or 2014 and represent the first experimental crosses with my earliest F1 seedlings. Four of these have an F1 species outcross introduction as a parent. One of those four also has one of my species outcross F1 introductions as a grandparent and one of those introductions as a parent as well. The fifth one has one of my hybrid x hybrid tetraploid introductions as a parent. The alternate parent for each of these five introductions is a hybrid cultivar from other hybridizing programs, except for one, which is a hybrid x hybrid seedling that is unregistered. The next step will be introductions that have my seedlings/introductions on both sides. Then I will be able to say that I am full within my own program. These five new introductions for 2022 open the door to this next phase of my tetraploid program.

Five new 2022 Tetraploid Introductions, all with one parent that is one of my previous tetraploid introductions.

Left Row - Top to Bottom: Dreams Become Things (Thingamabob x Sun Dragon), Spice Eyes (Thingamabob x The Spice Must Flow).
Center: Titan Goddess ({Welding The Titanic x Eos At Dawn} x Wookie Goddess)

To round out a review of my tetraploid introductions, we come to the final group, 13 introductions that are all the result of crossing two hybrid cultivars or a hybrid cultivar and a hybrid x hybrid seedling. Most of these introductions to date went through my rust resistance testing program and have been in selection and breeding observation for 5 to 10 years within my test gardens. There is a reason each and every one of these has been introduced, and for the majority that revolves around good flower traits with high rust resistance, cold hardiness, long term reliability and attractive plants, thrips resistance, though each trait varies amongst them and you need to check their individual rust resistance ratings (Click here for rust resistance ratings) and read their individual introduction pages (linked with their names below) to read about the strengths and weaknesses of any of these cultivars. None are perfect. All are very good. So be sure to read up on each one at its description page, linked with its name under the image below.

All of the flowers pictured in the slide above are introductions from my hybrid x hybrid breeding. Click the name of any one of them to go to the description page for much more information.

Center Left Row - Top to Bottom: Little Dragon On The Prairie, Elizabethan Fairy Queen.
Center - Top to Bottom: Elizabethan Minerva, Emerald Trader, Solar Soul.
Center Right - Top to Bottom: Elizabethan Argus, Elizabethan Fine Gloves.

I am excited about where my program is heading. I think my introductions to date give a good idea of the materials I have created to produce my program, and also give insight into where my program is headed, as well as how you might choose to use some of these introductions for your own program. For a discussion of my favorite flower forms you may want to look at the page 'My Diploid Introductions as a Reflection of my Flower Aesthetic' from the Diploid Program section of the Program Overview section of this website.

The image below shows seedlings from the 2020 and 2021 flower seasons. They are just a sneak peak. They originate predominantly from the 2015 through 2019 breeding seasons. All of these are tetraploids. There are seedlings deriving from both species outcross backgrounds and hybrid x hybrid backgrounds. You'll be seeing more of some of these over the next few years.


And so I will close this installment out with one last image. At this point, I have the plant type I was hoping for. Now it is just a matter of building a program on this type of plant. My breeding tests to date give me much reason to be optimistic, and you may note that one of the introductions in the image below is Astraea, one of my first five introductions using one of my own seedling introductions as a parent. In the case of Astraea, that parent is Eos At Dawn

With a decade in on some of these plants, I have the confidence to speak to their traits, their durability and their breeding ability. The most remarkable thing to me was being able to move forward in flower phenotype so far, in some instances, within the first generation. Sun Dragon, Origin Of Symmetry, Far Above The World, and especially Korean Queen, all presented much more fancy flower phenotypes than I had expected, and they are continuing to provide advancement in flower traits as I introgress the species genes into the hybrid domestic cultivars. 

The parallel hybrid x hybrid seedlings and introductions I have produced during the same decade now provide me a rich array of fancy, modern flower traits, on my own selected plants, to spread over these plants. I know the breeding ability of these plants, and I know they are be able to produce seedlings with more advanced flowers in. Due to their fancy modern parents, which were blended with the species and species-like plants, the vast majority of my F1 Species outcross introductions are both expressing dominant flower phenotype genes from the modern hybrid parent while also carrying their recessive traits as heterozygotes without those traits being seen in the flower, but able to reappear in their seedlings. 


Left Bottom: The Spice Must Flow
Right Top: Astraea
Right Bottom: Sun Dragon

For the rust resistance ratings of all my introductions, click here.

My introductions, click here.

Available daylilies, click here.