Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Improving the efficiency of varietal development for the UK Narcissus industry - HH1033SBU

Narcissus production is an important industry in rural areas of the UK. A world lead has been established in the development of enabling biotechnologies for Narcissus production in a previous MAFF-funded project (HH1021SBV). The objective of this programme is to develop mass clonal propagation, based on somatic embryogenesis building on progress made in HH1021SBV and to develop molecular marker technology for Narcissus. Rapid propagation, through mass somatic embryogenesis, is required to speed up the release of new varieties to the market place which is currently restricted by slow conventional propagation rates taking up to 30 years for bulking of sufficient material for commercial release. Mass clonal propagation will accelerate bulb cloning and has the potential to reduce the time to commercial release by 15 to 20 years. Molecular marker (AFLP) technology will be developed to verify the clonal fidelity of propagules produced through somatic embryogenesis and will also allow ‘typing’ of cultivars by DNA fingerprinting. Additionally, molecular marker technology will be applied to characterised populations of Narcissus bulbs with resistance to basal rot. Further populations will be developed for the identification of linked markers to the resistance trait. Markers will have application in future breeding of new basal rot resistant varieties speeding up the process by allowing evaluation of resistance at the seedling stage saving between 3 and 8 years on conventional screening.

The project has three objectives:
01. To establish the long-term regenerability of Narcissus callus and develop temporary immersion culture techniques as an economic means of accelerating mass clonal propagation by achieving a multiplication rate of at least one (parent) bulb to a 1000 propagules in 12 months.
02. To develop a protocol to evaluate clonal uniformity and genetic fidelity of propagules obtained through somatic embryogenesis; using phenotypic assessments and AFLP fingerprinting to provide basic genetic information in support of objective 3.
03. To complete molecular analysis of a Narcissus populations (Golden Harvest x St. Keverne F1 lines and parental selfs) and develop further populations for the identification of molecular markers for basal rot resistance.
Project Documents
• Final Report : HH1033_Final report   (9542k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2005

Cost: £324,438
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI, Horticulture Research International
Natural Resources and Labour              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Technology Transfer              
Fields of Study