Possibilities of selection for keeping quality in tulip breeding

Summary

The vase-life in tulip (Tulipa L.) is an important character. Research was done on the possibilities of selecting for keeping quality. It was found that the keeping quality of undetached flowers was strongly correlated with the keeping quality of cut flowers at 17°C in a glasshouse. The period from flowering date till 50% discoloration appeared to be highly correlated with days to perianth drop. For practical reasons the latter trait has preference in selection work. The number of days to discoloration is also an effective selection criterion. Flower longevity in the field in April/May and in the glasshouse were significantly correlated; thus, already in the field a first selection on keeping quality can be carried out. The increase in height for flowering (adult) and non-flowering (juvenile) plants during forcing did not appear to be significantly correlated with flower longevity, so preselection on this character is not promising. Flower longevity was positively correlated with forcing period. This poses some problems in selection, as a long forcing period is considered an undesirable character. The daily water uptake of cut flowers was significantly correlated with flower longevity.

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van Eijk, J.P., Eikelboom, W. Possibilities of selection for keeping quality in tulip breeding. Euphytica 25, 353–359 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00041567

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Index words

  • Tulipa
  • tulip
  • keeping quality
  • breeding
  • selection