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Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock - HH1026SHN

New cultivars of ornamental shrubs and trees are needed to maintain the competitiveness of the UK industry. The current project HH1012SHN at HRI has developed techniques, both conventional and biotechnological, and breeding lines that will facilitate genetic improvement. The proposed project will build on this progress by: completing the development of wilt-resistant rootstocks for Acer platanoides; resolving the genetics of horticultural characters important to the HDC-funded breeding programme for e.g. Sambucus and Sorbus; developing selections of Rhododendron tolerant of lime and identifying genetic markers; inducing tetraploid forms of rootstocks, that may be more dwarfing, and of interspecific hybrids, to restore fertility; and transforming one subject with a dwarfing gene. The products of the programme will be channelled to the industry via the HDC, either for trialling and release, or for use as parents in the industry-funded breeding programme. The contractors have the necessary expertise in pathology, propagation, breeding, genetics, micropropagation and transformation to conduct this project effectively and have well equipped facilities.
We propose taking forward the genetic improvement of HNS in several areas that, for the purpose of this document are best treated separately. There are thus five distinct objectives and a sixth dealing specifically with technology transfer.
1. to propagate Acer platanoides selections identified as resistant to Verticillium wilt in HH1012SHN, and now as part of a new EC Shared Cost Project, so that those best for resistance and propagation can proceed to industry-funded trials; stocks of wilt-resistant Acer clones will be available for industry exploitation and a seed orchard of resistant clones will be established.
2. to undertake genetic studies, principally in Buddleia, Ribes, Sambucus and Sorbus, to underpin the complementary HDC-funded programme HNS18b, e.g. by allowing design of crosses to pyramid useful characters; papers will be published on genetics of horticulturally important characters in these genera and the information will allow the HDC-funded programme to proceed more effectively.
3. to raise and identify selections of Rhododendron combining tolerance to lime with horticultural merit, and to identify genetic markers for lime tolerance; promising selections will be passed to the industry for assessment of commercial merit.
4. to riase tetraploid forms of rootstocks that would benefit from greater dwarfing ability and of sterile interspecific hybrids that would be useful for further breeding; tetraploid selections will be passed to the industry for evaluation as dwarfing rootstocks and fertile tetraploids will be used as parents in the HDC-funded breeding programme.
5. to introduce a dwarfing gene into one or more HNS subjects by transformation; details of passing transgenic material to the industry are uncertain at this stage.
6. to disseminate information to the industry and scientific community via publications and open days and transfer breeding lines to industry; this technology transfer will be as outlined in the previous five objectives.
Project Documents
• Final Report : final report   (85k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £380,279
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
GM Non-Food              
Hardy Nursery Stock              
Fields of Study