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To identify and overcome constraints to efficient and consistent production of HNS in the UK: (A) Rooting of cuttings - HH1214SHN

The hardy nursery stock (HNS) industry in the UK has a good record as a buoyant sector with an estimated value of £310 million p.a. (1996), and is receptive of new ideas and technological advances. Market conditions dictate increasingly stringent specifications for quality and delivery, requiring improvements in production systems from the stockplant to saleable product. The objective of this project is to provide knowledge that the industry can exploit to cut production costs while maintaining or improving quality. Key concerns for the industry are to increase the uniformity and consistency of crops (e.g. with respect to rooting, branching and flowering) and to reduce production times; objectives that are reflected in MAFF policy.

To meet these objectives, the proposed research in HH1214HNS and HH1215HNS aims to increase our understanding of the processes controlling development at key stages in production. This project covers the initial rooting of cuttings (including important effects predetermined by stockplant growth), through to the establishment of the rooted cuttings. Related project HH1215HNS covers the development of vigorous well-branched liners, and investigates also aspects of environment relevant to stockplant management. Research in previous MAFF-funded projects (HH1209SHN, HH1210SHN and HH1211SHN) has identified experimental systems and procedures that provide a solid foundation for the present work. It will focus on the role of auxin in root initiation and development, the identification of molecular markers of rooting, and the effects of environment on stomata and the photosynthetic apparatus.

The insights gained from the research are likely to have an immediate impact on decision making on innovative nurseries, but will also provide a foundation for more applied studies which will ensure ‘pull-through’, via technology interaction, to the HNS industry. The development of molecular markers and other experimental tools will enhance our future ability to innovate on behalf of the industry and thereby maintain the long-term profitability and competitiveness of the HNS sector.
1. Determine how adventitious root formation in representative HNS species relates to i) the capacity to transport auxin, ii) the nature of auxin metabolism, and iii) shoot meristematic activity.

2. Describe the developmental gene expression associated with root induction in Syringa and Forsythia.

3. Communicate results to scientific community and to user sector, through timely submission of manuscripts and through workshops or similar technology interaction events.

4. Develop generic methods for identification of plant hormones using LC-MS, with particular reference to auxin

Project Documents
• Final Report : final report   (109k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £644,019
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Hardy Nursery Stock              
Natural Resources and Labour              
Fields of Study