|Author: ||C. Offord|
|Keywords: ||hybridisation, stigma receptivity, pollen viability, genetic diversity|
Waratahs (Telopea spp.) are still largely undeveloped despite their increasing importance to the Australian cut flower industry.
In order to develop an understanding of the requirements of a waratah breeding program, the following areas were investigated at the Mount Annan Botanic Garden in New South Wales, Australia:
1. The breeding system of Telopea speciosissima to determine the potential and optimum strategies for manipulation;
2. The variation within and between natural populations of Telopea speciosissima;
3. The commercially important characters in current cultivars of Telopea spp. and the potential for improving these cultivars through inter- and intra-specific breeding;
4. The genetic basis of a range of biologically and commercially important characters in waratahs.
This information is useful for breeding for specific trait combinations in waratahs and field-testing.
A review of this work and recommendations for further research and development are presented.
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