How can flower bulbs be made more resistant to diseases and pests?

Published on
May 24, 2022

WUR is developing a new sustainable cultivation system for flower bulb cultivation, in which, according to the principle of 'Vital cultivation', we work on the cultivation of robust, clean starting material under optimal covered conditions. This starting material is then grown outside in the field until available. To increase the resilience of these flower bulbs for outdoor cultivation and during storage, the Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs of Wageningen University & Research will investigate the mechanism of action of activating the plant defenses, so that diseases and pests have less chance.

By linking the system jump in the bulbs, whereby clean starting material is grown in the greenhouse, it is possible to make the bulb resilient, so that diseases and pests have no chance. It is being investigated how the defense system of lilies and tulips works and how this can be improved. This is especially important for bulbs that are grown outdoors and for subsequent storage. Lice (Aceria tulipae) and botrytis are the biggest threats out in the field while Fusarium and Pencilllium are problems in storage.

Plant resistance can be based on morphological characteristics and/or plant ingredients. If the mechanism of plant resistance is known, it can be increased by external factors (such as the use of certain substances or micro-organisms). The aim of the research is therefore to develop a strategy for applying resilience-enhancing measures, so that the bulb cultivation can become more green. The insights gained during the research can also be used for regular flower bulb cultivation.

The PPP Resilient Bol is financed by the Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen, KAVB (Stichting IVB), Anthos, CNB, Agrifirm, CAV Agrotheek, Profyto en Bloembollenacademie.