ALLIUM PRODUCTION AND RESEARCH IN CHINA
In China, there are three types of cultivated onions: Allium cepa L., A. cepa var. aggregatum Don., and A. cepa var. viviparum Merz. Of these, A. cepa is the most popular. Local cultivars of A. cepa L. differ in their growth habit, skin colour, bulb quality, and yield potential. Recently, new cultivars of bulb onion have been introduced from foreign countries to China. In addition, efforts to obtain male sterile lines for F1 hybrid varieties have been tried.
Identification of the environmental requirements for the growth and development of onion has been undertaken. Onion bulb yields in China have been increased by the application of techniques which give bigger and healthier seedlings before winter, yet without bolting in the spring. Mulch with plastic film is a useful method to increase onion yield in China. A multifactorial mathematical model to simulate the production of high-yield and good-quality onion bulbs has been developed and put into practical use.
Onion plantlets have been successfully regenerated from cultured mesophyll protoplasts. Myosin and actin were found in the onion bulbs. Maleic hydrazide at 0.25% is used to maintain onion bulbs in good storage condition. Studies on bulb processing are also underway.