Inter-sectional hybrids were successfully obtained by the reciprocal crosses between 11 cultivars (including 6 diploids and 5 tetraploids) of Begonia semperflorens (SS & SSSS genomes) and B. ‘Orange Rubra’ (RR genome) with the aid of in vitro culture of mature or immature seeds on MS medium containing 0.1 mg l−1 α-naphthylacetic acid, 0.1 mg l−1 6-benzyladenine, 10 mg l−1 gibberellic acid, 30 g l−1 sucrose and 2.5 g l−1 gellan gum. Embryo rescue as ovary culture with immature seeds 12th–16th day after pollination (DAP) generally gave higher efficiency of plantlet formation, but in some cross combinations, culture of mature seeds (30 DAP) resulted in higher yield of plantlets. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that they were consisted of the plants with various genomic combinations (RS, RR, RSS, RRS, RRSS and RRRRSS) as estimated by the DNA contents of both parents. Hybridity of these plants with various genomic combinations including RR was confirmed by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. These results suggested that unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous chromosome doubling were involved in the hybrid formation of various ploidy levels and genomic combinations. These hybrids showed various levels of intermediate traits between both parents according to the genomic compositions, and some of them had desirable characters of both parents.
Keywords: amphipolyploid, Begonia ‘Orange Rubra’, Begonia semperflorens, embryo rescue, intersectional hybrid, unreduced gamete