Creativity in micropropagation: an overview of the AEMP/PEMP story and thoughts on what the future will bring?

P. Read, B. Loseke
A critical hurdle to the commercial success of micropropagation was recognized to be the challenging steps of acclimatization and establishment of micropropagated plants “in the real world”. This led to A.S. Economou and P.E. Read initiating the I International Symposium on Acclimatization and Establishment of Micropropagated Plants (AEMP) held in Sani-Halkidiki, Macedonia, Greece, September 18-22, 2001. This first symposium was well-attended and the scientific information presented set the tone for future symposia on this important subject. Highlights included environmental management, novel methodologies, contamination, scaling-up and automation. The symposium resulted in 80 papers as Acta Horticulturae 616. The second symposium in this series was organized by J. Santamaria and Y. Desjardins in Cancun, Mexico, as the II AEMP. Physiology of in vitro systems, “micropropagation-omics” and physiology of scale-up systems were featured. Temporary immersion systems and commercial enterprises in Mexico were features of the symposium; 36 articles were published as Acta Horticulturae 748. The III International Symposium on AEMP was convened by A. Romano in Faro, Portugal. This symposium continued to emphasize in vitro physiology, with increased attention to micropropagation of woody species, especially Mediterranean plants and mature trees. Encapsulation of micro-plants was introduced and reports on ornamental plants led to J. Prakash initiating the IV International Symposium on AEMP held in Bangalore, India, December 8-12, 2008. Special attention was given to ornamental plants and commercial micropropagation; genotypes indigenous to the Indian sub-continent were also discussed. Reports from this symposium were presented as Acta Horticulturae 865. The next in this series was convened by P. Read and J. Preece as the V International Symposium on AEMP, which was held in Nebraska City, NE (USA), October 16-20, 2011. Plant resource conservation and bioreactors were features of this symposium; increased student participation was also noted. Keynote speakers hailed from Australia, Sweden and the USA; proceedings were reported in Acta Horticulturae 988. The transition to a greater focus on propagation in general is reflected in the new name of the sixth symposium (PEMP) held in San Remo, Italy from April 19 to 24, 2015. Stress in relation to embryogenic competence was addressed, along with a keynote presentation on contamination challenges, and volatiles as indicators of contaminated cultures. Molecular marker use to help determine clonal fidelity was noted, while epigenetic and genetic aspects of micropropagated plants were also topics that will become increasingly important in future use of in vitro technologies and micropropagation. Additional details and key findings from the first six AEMP/PEMP symposia will be presented, together with projections for the future of micropropagation, including its impact on horticulture, potential for increased commercialization, and how it can help feed an ever-burgeoning world population.
Read, P. and Loseke, B. (2018). Creativity in micropropagation: an overview of the AEMP/PEMP story and thoughts on what the future will bring?. Acta Hortic. 1224, 7-12
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1224.2
micropropagation, bioreactors, temporary immersion systems, mass propagation, in vitro culture, environmental management

Acta Horticulturae