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Field evaluation of doubled haploid plants in the Apiaceae: dill (Anethum graveolens L.), caraway (Carum carvi L.), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

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The Apiaceae family includes vegetables, as well as herb and spice crops. Compared to major crops, there have been few breeding or genetic improvement programs for any of the Apiaceae, especially the herb and spice species. Haploidy technology can be used to develop uniform, true-breeding lines, as well as to accelerate breeding programs. Field trials of dill (Anethum graveolens L.), caraway (Carum carvi L.), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) doubled haploid (DH) lines were conducted over 2–5 cropping seasons. Several of the DH dill lines had desirable agronomic characteristics such as short uniform stature along with early maturity that would be useful for crop improvement. Seed yields and the essential oil content of the seed harvested from the best performing DH dill lines were either equal to or higher than the parental line. A DH annual caraway line was identified that produced higher seed yields than the industry standard. The main constituents of the essential oil for the DH lines of both dill and caraway were similar to the parental lines. Fennel DH lines exhibited differences in height but were too late in maturity for seed production under prairie conditions. The results indicate that not only were we able to generate DH lines that could be used in a crop improvement program, but we developed DH lines that could be used directly as cultivars as these lines performed better than the industry standard (parental line).

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The authors thank Jackie Bantle and William Hrycan for their technical assistance. Financial assistance from Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization, Agriculture Development Fund was greatly appreciated.

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Correspondence to A. M. R. Ferrie.

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Ferrie, A.M.R., Bethune, T.D., Arganosa, G.C. et al. Field evaluation of doubled haploid plants in the Apiaceae: dill (Anethum graveolens L.), caraway (Carum carvi L.), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.). Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 104, 407–413 (2011).

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