Appearance of albino seedlings caused by plastome-nuclear genome incompatibility was avoided by using polyploid parents in intersubgeneric hybridization between evergreen azaleas and deciduous Rhododendron japonicum f. flavum. Intra- and interploid crosses of 2x or 4x evergreen azaleas with 2x R. japonicum f. flavum showed high capsule set, but their reciprocal crosses failed to set capsules. Green and albino hybrids were obtained from 2x evergreen azaleas × 2x R. japonicum f. flavum crosses where ptDNAs of the green and albino plants were derived from R. japonicum f. flavum (paternal parent) and evergreen azaleas (maternal parents), respectively. All the progenies from the crosses of 4x evergreen azaleas × 2x R. japonicum f. flavum were green triploids with evergreen azalea-specific ptDNA. The efficiency of obtaining green hybrids in interploid crosses was higher than that in intraploid crosses. These results suggest that interploid crosses of 4x evergreen azaleas × 2x R. japonicum f. flavum can overcome plastome-nuclear genome incompatibility between evergreen azalea-specific plastome and the nuclear genome in the resulting hybrid.
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