H: Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Jane Abbott" is a Diploid

2 Different "Jane Abbott"s (Frank Abbott) [2x]
Next to graves of Frank and Jane Abbott
S and J Perkins

Two different Rhododendron "Jane Abbott" types, which are a Frank Abbott hybrids documented as Rhododendron prinophyllum x 'Miss Louisa Hunnewell', have been determined to be diploids using flow cytometry by

Dr. João Loureiro, Dr. Silvia Castro, José Cerca Oliveira, and Mariana Castro
Plant Ecology and Evolution Group,
Centre for Functional Ecology,
Department of Life Sciences,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Frank Abbott started crossing Rhododendron prinophyllum and 'Miss Louisa Hunnewell' in the 1930's giving the best results of this cross the name Rhododendron "Jane Abbott" after his daughter.

'Miss Louisa Hunnewell' is a Rhododendron molle resulting from the cross of the Japanese and Chinese form of the species. At one time, 'Miss Louisa Hunnewell' was considered to be the best Rhododendron molle in North America.

Rhododendron "Jane Abbott" is rarely seed or pollen fertile. This lack of fertility may indicate that Rhododendron molle is not closely related to Rhododendron prinophyllum. Dr. Benjamin Hall's DNA has placed Rhododendron molle and Rhododendron prinophyllum in different clades and he suggests that Rhododendron molle DNA is closer to the tetraploid clade of deciduous azaleas than the diploid clade of deciduous azaleas.

Rhododendron "Jane Abbott" is also difficult to root from cuttings.

The two "Jane Abbott" tested are the 2 different "pinks" planted at the Saxton River cemetery next to the gravestones of Frank Abbott and his daughter Jane.

Read Frank Abbott's Village of Azaleas"

Summary of Ploidy Levels

Diploid Rhododendron molle,
Diploid Rhododendron prinophyllum,
Diploid 'Frank Abbott',
Diploid Two Different "Jane Abbott" types

Source: John Abbott

John and Sally Perkins
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