Chilean native species from the Andes Mountains: an attractive source of germplasm for ornamental plant breeding

D. Aros, C. Rivas, M. Toledo, C. Céspedes, C. Cortés, M.A. Santander, M. Vásquez, N. Álvarez, A. Donoso, M.L. Prat
Chile presents a rich biodiversity of vascular plants with almost 5,000 native species, about 50% of them being endemic. Many of these species are distributed throughout the Andes Mountains showing high adaptation to adverse environmental conditions. Particularly some geophytes and perennial species from the Andes Mountains close to the central part of Chile (between 33 and 34°S) show an attractive ornamental value. This research aimed to identify and characterize these plants as a possible source of germplasm for ornamental plant breeding purposes. Field trips during four flowering seasons (2013 to 2016), between December and February, were performed. Seeds and explants were collected and different propagation and breeding techniques were performed. Considering color and size of the flowers, and growth habits, among other characteristics, five genera were identified as attractive to use for ornamental plant breeding purposes: Alstroemeria and Pasithea (geophytes), and Junellia, Malesherbia and Salpiglossis (herbaceous perennials). In vitro seed germination was described for Alstroemeria pallida and Alstroemeria exserens (cold stratification), Malesherbia linearifolia (stratification with 100 mg L-1 GA3), Pasithea coerulea (scarification with H2SO4 and cold stratification at 4°C) and Salpiglossis (stratification with 150 mg L-1 GA3). In vitro and ex vitro propagation of Junellia spathulata was successfully performed by using cuttings. Hybridization and polyploidization were applied in Alstroemeria spp., while mutagenesis using gamma rays was applied to in vitro callus of Alstroemeria spp. Limitation on water supply during flowering and resistance to extreme cold conditions during winter, are also interesting characters to consider these species as promising germplasm to develop for the ornamental plant market.
Aros, D., Rivas, C., Toledo, M., Céspedes, C., Cortés, C., Santander, M.A., Vásquez, M., Álvarez, N., Donoso, A. and Prat, M.L. (2017). Chilean native species from the Andes Mountains: an attractive source of germplasm for ornamental plant breeding. Acta Hortic. 1171, 375-380
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1171.49
mutagenesis, hybridization, winter hardy, alstroemeria, Pasithea, Junellia, Malesherbia

Acta Horticulturae