Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 233–248

Crossing experiments of lettuce cultivars and species (Lactuca sect.Lactuca, Compositae)

  • I. M. de Vries

DOI: 10.1007/BF00940608

Cite this article as:
de Vries, I.M. Pl Syst Evol (1990) 171: 233. doi:10.1007/BF00940608


The degree of relationships withinLactuca sativa and three wild relativesL. serriola, L. saligna, andL. virosa was studied by observing the performance, vigour and fertility of the F 1 hybrids obtained from crosses made in and between the four species. The crosses ofL. saligna ×L. virosa and the reciprocal crosses produced no hybrids.L. saligna andL. virosa are the least related of the four species.L. sativa ×L. serriola and the reciprocal crosses were successful and produced fertile hybrids These two species are genetically very closely related.L. saligna is known to produce, as a female parent, hybrids withL. sativa andL. serriola. Now the reciprocal cross was successful for the first time, so the unability to obtain hybrids in the past was based on the choice of accessions and not caused by unilateral incompatibility.L. virosa ×L. sativa and the reciprocal combination produced hybrids. The combinationL. serriola ×L. virosa produced hybrids with very limited fertility. In contrast to earlier reports (sterile hybrids) one combination of the reciprocal cross too produced hybrids with very limited fertility.—Some of theL. saligna ×L. sativa (and reciprocal) hybrids were found to look strikingly likeL. serriola. This adds evidence for the descent ofL. serriola andL. sativa:L. saligna also made part of the ancestral complex of the cultivated lettuce.

Key words

Angiosperms Compositae Lactuca sativa L. serriola L. saligna L. virosa Hybridization 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. M. de Vries
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant TaxonomyAgricultural UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Horticultural Plant BreedingWageningenthe Netherlands

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