Interspecific and intergeneric hybrids in herbage grasses - VII.Lolium perenne L. with otherLolium species
Lolium perenne has been successfully intercrossed with all the otherLolium types,L. rigidum sens. ampl.,L. italicum, L. loliaceum, L. remotum andL. temulentum, to produce establishedF1 hybrid progeny.
The results show a sharp cleavage in the genusLolium.
The wind-pollinating types, whether annual or non-annual, effectively interbreed quite freely, although apparently some slight difficulty arises at seed development and seed germination when eitherL. italicum orL. perenne is intercrossed withL. rigidum Gaud.
If, in nature,L. perenne intercrossed with any of the other wind-pollinating types, a mixed hybrid population could be created and maintained until the effect of habitat environment again caused a regrouping into ecotypes.
The results obtained by intercrossingL. perenne with each of the three self-pollinating annualLolium species run approximately parallel but with some apparently significant differences. In all cases theF1 hybrids are highly but not completely female sterile.
A particularly interesting result was the production of triple-hybrid established plants by outcrossing theL. perenne-L. loliaceum F1 hybrid to the hexaploidFestuca arundinacea.
Backcross hybrids derived from the self-pollinating Lolium species showed little sign of having regained fertility, so that even if, by rare chance,L. perenne did intercross with any one of these three species under natural conditions, there would be little chance of maintaining a mixed population of hybrid derivatives.
My thanks are due to Mr A. R. Beddows, M.Sc., for assistance in the execution of the breeding work; to technical assistants and others for assistance with the emasculation of the female units; to the present Director of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station for providing me with access to the records after my retirement and facilities for their examination; and to the Agricultural Research Council for financial aud clerical facilities.
Volume 100, 2021
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