Production and analysis of reciprocal hybrids between Asparagus officinalis L. and A. schoberioides Kunth

Takuro Ito, Toshinori Ochiai, Hiroki Ashizawa, Toshinori Shimodate, Takahiro Sonoda, Tatsuya Fukuda, Jun Yokoyama, Toshiaki Kameya, Akira Kanno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The genus Asparagus (Asparagaceae) encompasses 100-300 species, including the important vegetable crop, A. officinalis (garden asparagus). Previous attempts to hybridize garden asparagus with A. densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop, with the aim of introducing disease resistance, were unsuccessful because of the failure of endosperm development. In the present study, reciprocal interspecific hybrids between garden asparagus and A. schoberioides Kunth were generated by hand pollination. The F1 hybrids were analyzed by using both morphological and molecular techniques. This is the first report describing the production of an interspecific hybrid between garden asparagus at the diploid level (2n = 2x = 20) and its diploid (2n = 2x = 20) wild relative, A. schoberioides. Morphological characteristics of candidate hybrids were a mixture of those found in the parents, and cytological and RFLP analyses confirmed that morphologically intermediate plants were indeed diploid hybrids of those two species. In other words, post-zygotic isolation is not complete between phylogenetically distinct these two species. Our results suggest that other Asparagus species may be capable of hybridizing with A. officinalis and that introducing wild characters through interspecific hybridization may offer advantages for breeding for novel traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


  • Asparagus officinalis
  • Asparagus schoberioides
  • Chromosome number
  • Flow cytometry
  • Interspecific hybridization
  • Morphological analysis
  • Reciprocal crosses
  • Reproductive barrier
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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