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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 46

The Use Of Genetic Engineering Methods In Breeding Ornamental Plants

Stephen F. Chandler

pp: 43-46

From the mid 1980s the use of recombinant DNA technology for plant improvement began to be developed commercially. Now, genetic modification methods can access genes for disease and insect resistance, modification of biochemical pathways and herbicide resistance from a much wider range of sources than previously available. Plant varieties can be modified with no loss of the original parental phenotype, saving many generations in back crossing. Genetic engineering programs in the ornamental area are focused on improving agronomic quality (e.g. disease resistance, keeping quality, pest resistance) and creating novelty (e.g. form, colour) in the important cutflower and pot plants crops. Progress in these areas will be reviewed. From the context of commercialisation, the areas of intellectual property, patent ownership (as opposed to plant breeder rights), government regulation of genetic engineering, and public perception of genetic engineering are central and will be briefly reviewed.

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