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HYB: Breeding for Pink

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Betty wrote:

>  If I understood my pink lesson from Ben Hager (he was among the
hybridizers I
>  wrote when I was doing the articles for Region 7), several years ago,
when you
>  out cross to an iris with no pink, for whatever reason, you expect no
pinks in
>  that generation.  You have to cross back to another pink to get pink. 
>  course, now both have pink in the background.  I crossed out to
>  for rebloom.  This held true with the crosses I made to pinks.  Got all
>  and yellows.  Yellows are very common to a pink x white cross, at least
in my
>  garden.  Light yellows leaning toward cream.   

Ben certainly knows about breeding pinks, but this is an abridged version. 
Absolutely CORRECT, I hasten to add, as far as it goes -- but Ben isn't
here to explain further so I'd like to expand on a couple of points.

1.      "When you out cross to an iris with no pink.... expect no pinks in
that generation."

A very safe Rule of Thumb, but iris pedigress are so complex and have so
many unknowns lurking just a few generations back that it is impossible to
say that a specific cultivar has no pink.  In practice, we're making
crosses to  those with no KNOWN pink and therefore expect no pinks in the
first generation -- but sometimes we're pleasantly surprised.  The
corollary is that if you get pink from such an outcross you've learned that
the "no pink" is actually a carrier.

2.      "You have to cross back to another pink to get pink."

Good advice, because the only RELIABLE way to get pink is to cross a pink
or a known carrier of pink to a pink.   Not an absolute, though -- if it
were, the tangerine pinks would never have shown up.  Tangerine pink is
recessive, so can be produced by two carriers.

BTW, those "light yellows leaning toward cream" carry the carotenoid that
can be converted to lycopene.  The surest way to get pink would be to
backcross one of them to a pink, but you might also get pink by
inter-crossing them.

Sharon McAllister

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