Modern technique greatly enhanced woody ornamental plant breeding
Traditional woody plant breeding is very challenging due to its technical difficulty and long-term commitment. With pressure to speed up the breeding cycle, modern techniques are employed in our breeding programs. Both Ilex and Viburnum are popular woody ornamental plants. From the hybridization to seed germination, they take about 2-4 years. With aid of modern techniques of embryogenesis and trait associated markers, we did shorten this process from 2 to 4 years to 1 year. To breed new Viburnum with shining evergreen foliage and cold hardiness, we crossed Viburnum 'Pearlific' with Viburnum carlesii in March; we extracted immature embryos from the early stage of fresh fruits and cultured them in June; and had seedlings with two pairs of true leaves in September. DNA extraction was carried out for further molecular studies. From parent selection, cross hybridization compatibility, immature embryo extraction, sterilization, culture media and conditions, seedling acclimatization, DNA technology and marker selection, to field trial and final new plant release, we would like to share our achievement and failure for the past 40 years' experience to our breeders and future generations. With careful planning for each step, we should be able to generate quality publications for researchers and graduate students and encourage more people to our woody plant breeding field. More elite woody ornamental plants make our life better!
Zhang, D. and Yang, Y.J. (2020). Modern technique greatly enhanced woody ornamental plant breeding. Acta Hortic. 1291, 9-14
embryogenesis, Ilex, molecular marker, Viburnum