Modern Methods for Breeding Ornamentals
Trine Hvoslef-Eide and Nina Ingrid Vik
Breeding of ornamentals has traditionally been done by growers. Some growers had a special eye for picking up mutations, while others have done serious, planned crosses to improve plant material systematically. Breeding of ornamentals at the Department of Horticulture started with a small project on keeping quality in Christmas begonia (Begonia ×cheimantha) in 1989. Breeding of ornamentals does in principle not differ from breeding of any other crop, but the breeding goals may vary. In addition, most of the ornamentals are vegetatively propagated.
Modern methods for breeding often include in vitro techniques and/or molecular biology in one or more steps in the breeding process. The following have been included in this paper: embryo rescue, in vitro selection, somaclonal variation, double haploids and chromosome elimination, and transformation/gene technology. This is not a complete review on the subject, the aim is to illustrate the methods mentioned with some history as
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