Local rose races of the Western Ghats - a potential gene pool for rose breeding

P. Rajendran, K. Ajithkumar, R. Smitha
The range of variability, which is of potential value in the development of new cultivars, is enormous in roses, but most of it remains unexploited. Though the Indian subcontinent is thought to be one of the centres of origin for Chinese and Centifolia roses, we have not bred many roses within the country. However, the most difficult part of breeding for a perfect rose cultivar, particularly an indigenous one, is the lack of known parents with required attributes like hardiness and resistance to pests and diseases. Our studies have revealed that most of the wild or local rose accessions available in the Western Ghats of Kerala are hardy and resistant to major pests and diseases that are severe in hybrid roses. The local accessions could be excellent starting materials in breeding for new rose cultivars. Their flowers though small are remarkably fragrant. This wealth of untouched material has to be used meaningfully by planning crosses through the integration of conventional and molecular approaches, in a way that will avoid unproductive hybrids and save time, effort and resources.
Rajendran, P., Ajithkumar, K. and Smitha, R. (2017). Local rose races of the Western Ghats - a potential gene pool for rose breeding. Acta Hortic. 1165, 63-72
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1165.9
genetic diversity, germplasm collection, resistance, productive hybrids