Breeding of cut and pot rose cultivars for efficient production under low-energy conditions in greenhouses will be facilitated by understanding the inheritance of vigour. To get insight into the genetic variation of vigour-related traits, a diploid rose population was employed for an evaluation study in greenhouses in The Netherlands and Denmark. For all the traits investigated the population showed a continuous quantitative variation as well as a considerable transgression. For most of the traits, the genetic variation found among the tested entries was highly significant and tended to be large in comparison to the effects of genotype by environment interaction. The heritability based on means of the traits was high and ranged from 68 to 92%. Strong simple correlations (r = 0.65 to 0.95) were found among the traits shoot length, leaf area, leaf dry weight, stem dry weight, total dry weight and growth rate. The total dry weight and leaf area are suggested to be good parameters for early selection of rose genotypes with vigorous growth under suboptimal growth conditions.
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