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HYB: Reciprocal Crosses

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Jan wrote:

>>Guess that would be a good HYB 301 homework assignment -- determine 
>>any of your TB breeding stock has a maternal line that is traceable 
>>back to species.  [Assuming, of course, that no stray bit of pollen 
>>contaminated any cross down through the generations.]

>  Is this an oops, Sharon? I can't see how stray pollen would effect 
>  tracing the maternal line. Mixed seeds, tags, etc. might, but not mixed 
>  pollen. 

Actually it's a left-over from a much longer treatise which I decided MUST
be simplified for an introductory post....

The problems you encounter in tracing the maternal line through pedigrees
are, indeed, things like:

Lost tags
Mixed seeds
Undetected [Pollen X Pod] records
Unpublished pedigrees
Mislabeled plants

If you take the short-cut of tracing only maternal lines when you analyze
pedigrees, of course "stray bits of pollen" don't matter.  But in the real
world of assessing the results of reciprocal crosses, they must be taken
into account.

For example:  my CODE OF SILENCE came from WISHED FOR CHILD X I.
kirkwoodii, and the maternal line of WISHED FOR CHILD is

Hunt Seedling

In this case, one maternal line traced back to TBs while the other was
onco.   I was never able to complete the reverse cross with frozen pollen,
but two of the seedlings were exceptional so I did introduce them.   The
other was named PRIM AND PROPER.  

Both of these have foliage that more closely resembles that of half-breds
than that of the more prevalent triploid 3/4-breds from onco maternal

Both have pastel flowers, not often found among the near-arils.

Garden visitors [NOT experienced hybridizers] have been heard to remark
that these "must" be halfbreds.  

That's where test crosses come in.  To determine that the observed results
are actually attributable to maternal inheritance rather than a stray bit
of pollen you need to be able to make test crosses and analyze the results.
  If I had dismissed this as a contaminated cross, I would have missed some
important clues concerning maternal inheritance and overlooked a couple of
valuable breeders -- but I considered the possibility and tested them.   In
this case, neither breeds like a halfbred, but both have just enough
fertility to be useful in crossing with halfbreds -- producing seedlings
with more prominent dotting, veining, and signals than those of either

>  BTW I would be interested in a detailed description of JUST FOR JAN. I 
>  have never heard of this iris before. If it is available here it is a 
>  'must have'. It would certainly confuse the tag reading visitors in my 
>  garden.

S. ivory, tinged yellow [near RHS 158C]
F. greyed yellow [near RHS 160B]
b. deep yellow-orange
sig. maroon [near RHS 160B]
pronounced spicy fragrance

It was one of Gene Hunt's seedlings, which he had selected and I increased
for introduction after he died.  I named it for one of the friends who
helped me take care of his seedling stock.  

Sharon McAllister

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