Molecular characterization of the genepool and analysis of self-sterility of frost-tolerant Erica gracilis
2014 - 2017
Until the turn of the millennium, all cultivars of the economically very important landscaping plant Erica gracilis were derived from only one genotype, the cultivar ’Glasers Rote‘. Due to self-sterility, breeding activities were impossible. By crossing with new genotypes from South Africa, new cultivars were obtained and introduced starting in 2004. They are more attractive than ’Glasers Rote‘, but just as little frost-tolerant. Moreover, problems in the production arise from premature withering. The cooperation partner detected frost-tolerant genotypes within their breeding material, which will be used to build up a breeding program. Genetic fingerprinting will be used to analyze the structure of the genetic pool of Erica gracilis cultivars and the parentage of specific genotypes. Self-sterility as well as crossing compatibility will be investigated for the development of strategies to avoid premature flower senescence due to fertilization.