Discussions and Q and A about hybridizing irises forum: Hybridizing using planned genetics?

Views: 37, Replies: 16 » Jump to the end
Aug 15, 2010 5:32 PM CST
Elkhart Co., IN
How do you hybridiziers use genetics to get the plants you what? What I mean is, if I wanted a plant with a special color combo. There has to be more then just mix and match a pink to a blue flower. Tell me how you go about using genes present and hidden ones. If one what white beards on a yellow and blue two tone plant (example only). Where can I find more info of iris genetics? I've googled but not found any soild info.

One other thing can you cross a beared dip. to a tet plant? I know they are different, but both are bearded irises.

Just trying to understand some basic's of gentics before I go playing around. Bad thing is it will be 2 more years before I can. Have to move iris again next year to the new beds around the new house.

Thank you, Cory
Aug 16, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
I do watch my colors especially on the dwarfs where I am working with pinks & a project for red amoenas. (white standards & red-purple falls). You can cross dips & tets but the resuloting plants probably will not be fertile.
Aug 16, 2010 10:15 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
I do not know that much about genetics, however, I know what certain iris progeny look like.
If you want a multi colored combination then you have to start with blends, or similar.
Still it might take generations to get what you wants.

Look at the cross Between Candy Corn and Minidragon
Notice the thin edge on both seedlings and there is a fait edge on minidragon but the edge came from Candy Corn seen in the cross between Candy Corn and Black Stallion.

Genetics is special and if you really want to see what you are going to get from crossing two iris it will take way more than 2 years. Every plant out of two iris is completely different unless they are so imbred as to be nearly homozygous.

I know this probably doesn't help you much.

I like to go wide, it gets me a lot of dogs but it also gives me some spectacular progeny. Like the second picture of Voldy's Mink of 16 seedling 4 survive and one of those will probably go to compost next year.

Thumb of 2010-08-16/avmoran/4dd2c1
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Aug 16, 2010 5:56 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
Great pictures Anita. Everyone has different 'wants'. When Paul black first saw a picture of my 'Reddy Set' he said that he liked the edge on the falls. I told him that I was trying to get rid of the edge & he looked at me like had 2 heads. Jayne Ritichie in WA has the same vision for the amoenas that I do. No edge!Thumb of 2010-08-16/irisarian/158502
Aug 17, 2010 7:41 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
I like the edge but sure was not expecting it. Those like 'Reddy Set' and others would would wonderful without the edge and give a cleaner more velvety look. I think everyone is trying to get a more modern version of 'Wabash' thus the edge love going around. Griff Crump used 'Wabash' for the velvet falls not the edge but it is a strong gene to over come.

Aug 17, 2010 9:28 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
What Jane & I are doing on the dwarfs is getting the 'pumila spot' to cover the petals. There are plenty of TBs with solid falls. Should probably look for them & use John's pumilas to bring them down, but really a porject for a younger more active person.
[Last edited Aug 17, 2010 9:26 PM CST]
Quote | Post #363639 (6)
Aug 17, 2010 6:03 PM CST
Elkhart Co., IN
I like the pics. This does help a little. I guess it just make a cross and see what pops up. Then use what you like and use that to a simlar flower. That way you have more of a chance to get that gene to show up on the next gen.

So tell me this if you can, what cross do you use when trying for a IB iris? From what I can tell it's a SDB & TB/BB. right? Are most sdb dips? And newer TB/BB are tets. So you can't cross a IB to other IB, due to not being feritle.

I guess I'm just to noseing for my own good. I'll have to do the old "KISS" thing. Please keep the pics coming, I like to see the parents and then the offspring.

Aug 17, 2010 9:15 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

You're not being too nosy at all Cory.

I'm not a hybridizer, but I can say I wouldn't try the diploid and tetraploid crosses. Most of the newer tb irises are tetraploid. So they will have the same chromosome count. So, if I were crossing TBs, for example, I would try crossing a newer one with a newer one, or one of the old diploid varieties with another old diploid variety.

But under those guidelines, to start with, just pick some you really like, and note why you like them, color of beards, branching, whatever, and cross them and see what you get. it will give you an idea at least of what you're doing.

Post pictures on her. Tell us who the parents are. Dee, Lucy and Anita will be able to give some advice to help you along.

But just jump right in, and you're right, as in anything keep it as simple as you can to start.

And, I gotta tell you, we are in need of some younger hybridizers, so get going!
Aug 17, 2010 9:25 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
SDBs are tet. (sorta) certainly not diploids. When using them to make IBs they get 12c from the TBs & 8c from the SDBs. This gives them 44c. They used to be thought infertile & some are, but others infertil. If you are looking to try choose a strong growing TB which is the color you wish & has heavy buds. The dwarfs can contribute fewer buds. If you breed 'like to like 'in color, you will get some similar colors but color inheritance has many recessives so you may get some surprises.
Aug 18, 2010 11:12 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
If I were going to cross for IBs
I would choose two of the best Irises of each class for the cross.
Since SDBs open first I would probably save pollen from three Dwarfs
"Wish Upon a Star" ( a great plant and very fertile)
"Rosalie Loving" (Great Iris and reblooms)
"06ESes01" (An MDB nice form has 3 buds and reblooms

I would cross these with three favoite TB Irises
"Drama Queen" (Love this iris form etc.)
"Grape Harvest" (Hardey carries rebloom)
"Have a Goodun" (Beards)

Wait 2-3 three years for germination and bloom and see what I get.

As for IB fertility there is a list some where on the fertility of IBs
"John" Ugly yellow and tan that increases faster than a rabbit is pod fertile and being stuid or not I took a bee pod and the 6 seeds in it got four to bloom 2 immediately ended up in compost as they were nearly identical to "John" but hte other two
Wow! The Red is "Rubies and Fur" haven't named the second
Thumb of 2010-08-18/avmoran/49e5aa

Crossing for a size may get you what you want but both of these are SDB in height nad flower size.
I crosses several MTB (Tets) all but one bloomed at SDB height with smaller flowers.

one of the few large/small cross I have made that produced anything of note was an OGB X Decadence.
I am happy with the one seedling to bloom but it increases very slow and the sibling which has not bloomed is still a single rhizome. Both "Lakeside Elf" and "Decadence" increase well for me so this cross may not be a workable cross time will tell

Thumb of 2010-08-18/avmoran/859355
Aug 18, 2010 2:36 PM CST
Elkhart Co., IN
speaking of MTB's I've really started to like them. What plants to you have to cross to get MTB's? Are they SDB and BB. Or something else? I've read there aren't may tets MTB's. Most are dips right?

I'm still lost on the hole 44c thing. Why 12c from TB's and 8c from SDB? That only comes to 20c. Not being smart here! How does it double?

Off hand question here. So is a MDB a tet also. You just can't find many of these little guys around, some with MTB's. To many question flow thur my head at any given time.

Thanks, Cory
Aug 18, 2010 6:08 PM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
There are fabulous Tets adn Dips
Some great Tets are
Razzelberry Dressing
there are so many

My Favoite Dips are
and reblooming Reminiscence
Aug 18, 2010 9:34 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
I don't think that Razzelberry Dressing is a tet. It may be part species, will look it up but not 11:30 pm.

The late Ben Hager developed tet MTBs using iris aphylla. I still don't feel that the flower is correct size except for 'Priceless' which is not happy here.

Anita I am losing the seedlings which germinated this yr because of dry weather & local watering ban. They need more water that watering can.
Aug 18, 2010 11:33 PM CST
Name: Bill Chaney
La Pine, Oregon
Hi Cory,

Glad you have an interest in the MTBs and genetics. You may want to check out the following page for some background.


You may also be interested in checking out some of the iris developed by Jim and Vicki Craig. They are mostly tet. MTB, based on Iris aphylla, but some of their iris fall into other classes as well.

Here are a couple of the aphylla based tet MTB's the Craigs have developed: Chartres and Payoff
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Aug 19, 2010 6:36 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
Lucy, Hook Hose on washer and water them with Rinse water (Grey Water)


Thanks so much for the pics I just got a bunch of MTBs from Vicki
Feb 3, 2016 6:37 PM CST
Name: Randall
Zone7 e. Tn
Diploids and tetraploids can be crossed when the diploid does not split during miosis most as stated before will infertile or have very little fertility yet continued crosses will have more fertility with each generation it could take generations to achieve a viable gene pool but some of these are already out there and you could start with those no quotes here just paraphrased from Sharon McAllister's cyber_ space iris garden shevdiscusses this there
Feb 9, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
?? why is it thought about. What would you accomplish?

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