BREEDING AND DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL HYBRIDS OF WAXFLOWERS BY PROTOPLAST FUSION
The genus Chamelaucium is a member of Myrtaceae and is endemic to the southwest of Western Australia. Plants from this genus are commonly known as waxflowers. Other related genera in the Chamelaucium tribe include Actinodium, Darwinia, Homoranthus, Pileanthus and Verticordia. Waxflowers are the leading cut flower export from Australia and are grown widely in other countries for the cut-flower industry. At present, most waxflower cultivars are limited to pastel or pale colour shades and to winter-spring flowering periods. To enhance the palette and flowering period of waxflower cultivars we have adopted a strategy of carrying out wide crosses of Chamelaucium species with other members of the Chamelaucium tribe, including Pileanthus and Verticordia. To facilitate these wide crosses we are using the protoplast fusion approach. Purified protoplasts are fused using the technique of electrofusion. To enhance our ability to identify fused populations we used pre-fusion treatments with anti-metabolites, such as iodoacetate, or pre-staining with fluorescent dyes and flow sorting of fused cells post-fusion. Plant regeneration is achieved by somatic embryogenesis of fused cells and fused populations are confirmed by flow cytometry to identify polyploid plants.
Scalzo, A.A., Crowhurst, A.M., Umaretiya, P. and Growns, D.J. (2015). BREEDING AND DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL HYBRIDS OF WAXFLOWERS BY PROTOPLAST FUSION. Acta Hortic. 1097, 85-92
waxflowers, protoplast fusion, somatic embryogenesis, tetraploid hybrids