General Alternative compact plants

12/02/2020

ILVO supports our breeding research into compact plants. Without ILVO, such research would be very difficult and financially impossible.

Rudy Raes (Rudy Raes Bloemzaden N.V.)

Compactness is a crucial characteristic in floriculture. A compact product is preferred by consumers, and the plants can also be transported internationally much easier. As gardens become smaller and people live in more urban areas, compactness has become an important selection criterion in breeding programs for ornamental plants.

To obtain compactness, the sector has various techniques at its disposal, including changes in light intensity and spectrum, using plant growth regulators, and varying day and night temperatures.

Osteospermum plants

For many years, ILVO, with the support of VLAIO, has been working with companies to develop an alternative breeding technology in order to obtain naturally compact plants. The principle of this breeding technology is based on the co-cultivation of plant pieces with natural Rhizobium rhizogenes bacteria. Essentially, plant tissue is brought together with the bacteria under laboratory conditions. These bacteria penetrate the cells and give rise to the formation of hairy roots. If we subsequently succeed in regenerating a plant from these root cells, the new plants look different. The most striking altered characteristic is compact growth. By systematically applying this technology in breeding programs, a naturally compact plant assortment is obtained.

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