Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Micropropagation & weaning of slow growing hardy ornamentals by application of novel forced ventilation techniques. - HL0133LHN

Wider use of micropropagation in the UK Horticulture Industry is limited by high production costs and problems in matching plant quality to consumer requirements. Furthermore, there is a large range of potentially valuable woody and herbacious hardy ornamental nursery stock (HONS) which, because of their recalcitrance in micropropagation units, are currently unavailable to the industry. Poor rooting and low multiplication rates in vitro, heavy losses at weaning and hardening, and poor plant quality are serious constraints to their exploitation. Therefore there is a pressing need to improve current micropropagation technology not only for these species, but for, if possible, non-recalcitrant species, so as to increase UK Industry's competitiveness and shares of home and overseas markets.
The aims of the project are:
To design novel forced ventilation (FV) systems, and then test and use them under conditions to understand their potential for the micropropagation of recalcitrant and non-recalcitrant HONS and other species for the UK.
The ultimate aim of the initiative is to expland the range of slow-growing HONS species to UK producers and increse quality and throughput of their existing products.
To further our understanding of a) the gas composition dynamics in culture vessels using a range of woody and herbaceous species and b) the causes, physiological aspects and means of overcoming symptoms of vitrification and shoot tip necrosis.
1. To produce appropriate forced ventilation (FV) and forced ventilation - temporary immersion (FV-TI) designs for various vessel types, growth room conditions and species type: three basic designs are envisaged in the first instance, two for FV and one for TI.
To quantify the effects of the designs in terms of improvements in growth, rooting, multiplication, acclimatisation, overall quality and plant losses a weaning and hardening of HONS and other microplants.
2. To quantify the benefits if FV systems in terms of (a) promoting autotrophic nutrition (photosynthesis) and normal leaf stomatal function, (b) reducing vitrification, shoot tip necrosis and leaf fall, and (c) excluding contaminants.
3. To demonstrate that the unit costs of producing hardy ornamental nursery stock (HONS) and other microplants can be substantially reduced using FV and FV-TI systems.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Micropropagation & weaning of slow growing hardy ornamentals by application of novel forced ventilation techniques.   (280k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2002

Cost: £166,672
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Hull
Hardy Nursery Stock              
Fields of Study