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Ornamental Crops

Part of the book series: Handbook of Plant Breeding ((HBPB,volume 11))

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Fuchsia hybridization and selection of cultivars have been taking place since the 1830s. Much of it was carried out by early horticulturalists who were reluctant to divulge their sources or else more recently by amateur growers who were often opportunistic in their approaches and selection of material. Through DNA sequencing, we now have a fairly robust understanding of the evolution of the genus and how it can be divided into 12 sections, each containing one or more closely related species. This can help guide the selection of species for future hybridization work as well as to better understand the dynamics of some of the past crosses. The base chromosome number in Fuchsia is n = 11. The different ploidy levels in species and cultivars of Fuchsia are described, including how polyploids have been produced artificially through chemical treatment. A greater understanding of variation in flower color and search for novel colors can be gained by examination of anthocyanidin pigments. Fuchsia breeding has now shifted away from selection for cold tolerance toward utilization of a much wider array of intersectional crosses involving triphylla hybrids and smaller-flowered sections, as well as short-day-length (winter-flowering) species.

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de Cooker, M.G.R.T., Goulding, E.J., Waldenmaier, J.H., Berry, P.E. (2018). Fuchsia. In: Van Huylenbroeck, J. (eds) Ornamental Crops. Handbook of Plant Breeding, vol 11. Springer, Cham.

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