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Author Topic: Monday Read Breeding for colour  (Read 316 times)

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Monday Read Breeding for colour
« on: March 20, 2017, 07:30:28 »
The following post written be Sean
Breeding a colour strain of clivia
SEAN CHUBB - MAY 2016

The beautiful range of colours and patterns that exist within the various species of Clivia are one of the best examples of how man can experiment to improve nature. Through the powers of selective breeding he can modify any group of Clivia, and in time fix their traits in such a way that they become uniform and consistent. This is how colour varieties are created.

In wild Clivia, nature is very conservative with her colours and patterns. This has much to do with their environment, and their ability to attract pollinators. Interesting fact, this flower colouration is only visible on the part of the flower that is in full view of the pollinators. Hence the pendulous species have little or no colour inside their flowers.

Colour is more important than you may think: I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that colour means nothing, or that a good Clivia cannot be a bad colour. For most breeders of Clivia, flower and plant quality are given priority to all other traits. I believe this way of thinking is detrimental to the improvement of the Clivia as a whole. Although I too believe flower and plant quality are important traits, the factor of beauty, such as colour of flowers, should not be looked at as something of less importance or unnecessary.

A family that is uniformly coloured is a family uniform in other traits as well: There are over thirty different colour varieties of Clivia in existence. Yet, if you were to ask all those who breed them, “what constitutes a good or bad colour?” You would find that there are many differences of opinions. This makes the issue of colour a complicated matter.

What is a breeder to do? If you make sure to choose breeding plants that not only have the proper colour of flower, but also are alike in many of their characteristics and traits, you will have a better chance of creating and maintaining a successful strain.

It is also important, when selecting breeding Clivia, that the pollen parent matches the pod parent in as many traits as possible, and vice versa. This is also true when it comes to their constitution, such as their vigour, vitality, and overall health, and ability to resist and fight disease. A strain of Clivia that come in all colours usually also prove to be highly diverse in many other characteristics and traits. Varied colours in a strain of Clivia are the manifestation of the diversity in the gene pool.

The pollen parent must be a good match to the pod parent: Clivia that are true to colour, demonstrate their uniformity in other areas as well. Breeding programmes, where the pollen parent is properly matched to the pod parent, show the purity of the strain, but also the knowledge and skill of the breeder.

Evidence of a properly bred strain, one that is true to colour, can be seen by observing the breeders pollinations. This is especially true where a pollen parent is used on many pod parents. For instance, a properly matched pollination, all plants should be matched identical in colour and conformation.

Although the pollen and pod parents are heterozygous in many of their traits, and this is especially true for colour of flower, be very careful that you match the correct colours together. For example when breeding Pinks is careful that you do not match up a pink and a pastel that just looks pink.

I’ve seen many well-established and reputable strains that would occasionally throw off-coloured progeny. Depending on the family or strain, this is, in most cases, of minor inconvenience only, which can be easily corrected through proper selective breeding practices. Even though these off-coloured flowers excel in conformation and colour, don’t breed them back into your pure strain. By culling these off-coloured plants, and breeding only with plants that have the proper colour of flowers, you will maintain the uniformity and consistency of your strain.

These colour variations are normally throwbacks to a distant ancestor as a result of crossbreeding. Not to worry, by carefully breeding back to colour, the original colour and quality can be maintained. Although it is highly likely that they will throw back to this off-colour from time to time, no harm is done as long as you avoid using these individuals for breeding in your strain.

These off-coloured individuals, if of sufficient quality and good flower colour could be the basis of a new colour strain. This strain however will vary, from plant to plant, in colour of flower, and will express variations in other qualities as well. These off-coloured plants may also display qualities from a distant ancestor like disease resistance and vigour. All these traits are to be evaluated to assess whether they are worth preserving.
Martin
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Re: Monday Read Breeding for colour
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 07:44:52 »
the Above article was written by Sean Chubb please visit his site on www.cliviasa.co.za there are a lot of informative articles there
Thanks Sean for your permission to use the article
Regards
Martin
Martin
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Re: Monday Read Breeding for colour
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 20:59:14 »
Very well written article. This is all about good colour or quality of colour and not about breeding new or different colours.
I agree with Sean, good colour is as important as the other traits in a clivia. This does not mean that one colour variety is better than another.

I also agree with Sean on the complexity one can have with a colour variety.Andrew Gibson is an example. When is the colour good or of good quality?

Chris

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