Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) garden cultivars Vulcan, with deep red ray florest, and Superior, with orange ray petals, were crossed as female with 16 inbred clones and the progeny assessed visually for flower color in 3 environments. Intensity of vacuole pigmentation in ray florets appeared to vary continuously. Evaluation was facilitated by placing plants in 7 color classes ranging from red, the most intense, through orange, an intermediate intensity, to yellow, the apparent lack of vacuole pigmentation. A simple hexaploid model with additive gene action, suggested by the 7 color classes, was inappropriate, as more than 50% of the plants in 'Vulcan' families were red and more than 60% of the plants in 'Superior' families were orange. Comparing evaluations of parental clones in 2 glasshouse and 2 field environments and considering data from an experiment, in which progeny first classified in the glasshouse were reevaluated in the field, revealed substantial shifts in classification. In the glasshouse, more individuals appeared in the red and orange classes, while field evaluation placed more individuals in classes adjacent to red and orange. However, the predominance of progeny in the color class of the common parent, that is, red for the 'Vulcan' and orange for the 'Superior' families, occurred in both glasshouse and field. Plants scored as other than red appeared in crosses between 'Vulcan' and 3 red inbreds, suggesting that red ray petals are not conditioned by a homozygous genotype. The orange of 'Superior' and orange progeny may be due to a single dominant gene causing mosaic-like distribution of red vacuole pigmentation over yellow plastid pigmentation. Because cloned genotypes were classified differently in diverse environments, critical genetic analysis of vacuole pigmentation will require cloned progeny and multiple-environment evaluation.
- Chrysanthemum morifolium
- Dendranthema grandiflora
- flower color
- genotype-environment interaction
- vacuole pigmentation, inheritance