Ornamentals, tissue culture and gene technology

This group focuses on developing and implementing the latest plant breeding techniques. Emphasis is primarily but not exclusively on ornamental crops. Aspects of interspecific hybridisation, stress imposed by tissue culture conditions, control over recombination and genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9 are some of the main research targets.

To name some of the crops: lily, rose, tulip, gerbera, alstroemeria, hydrangea and chrysanthemum are examples of the ornamental crops we work on. Stress in tissue culture is studied in Arabidopsis thaliana as a model crop and further in statice, apple and petunia. Crops tackled in our gene technology research are wheat, tomato, potato, apple, crambe, camelina, petunia, chrysanthemum and a selection of smaller ornamental crops. Much of this research is supported by interested companies.

The research is not only on developing protocols, but also in generating markers for marker assisted breeding in diploids and polyploids, to identify, isolate and edit genes by using genetic and genomic tools coding for traits of interest and to provide approaches in improving the quality of micopropagated plants. Development of plant half-material, amongst others, by interspecific crosses, is a major point of attention. The group is also involved in preparing science-based position papers for the government on the New Plant Breeding Techniques such as cisgenesis and targeted mutagenesis by CRISPR-technology.

Recent Publications