The remontant flowering of perennial plants: implications for breeding bearded iris

ISHS Secretariat
The remontant flowering of perennial plants: implications for breeding bearded iris

Zhuping Fan is a candidate for an MS degree at Beijing Forestry University, China. She is studying repeat blooming or remontant flowering of bearded iris (Iris germanica). She is also evaluating Iris through traditional hybridization and molecular breeding methods. Bearded iris appears to have a thick and bushy “beard” on its colorful falls. This flower annually blooms in May in Beijing, China. However, some cultivars bloom twice each year, in May and October. This reblooming enhances the popularity of this flower and adds commercial value to this crop. Repeat blooming types can spontaneously appear in a population, but individuals with this trait can be bred and selected. For this study, specific repeat blooming cultivars were chosen as parents. These selections will be used in future hybridizations to produce improved reblooming bearded iris. In addition, the molecular mechanism of reblooming is under investigation. Currently, the transcriptome profiles of rebloomers and once-bloomers are being determined. Differentially expressed genes have been identified. After the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and other molecular validation, the key genes for reblooming will be determined. This research will be useful in understanding aspects related to flowering control in perennial ornamentals.

Zhuping Fan won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the XIII International Symposium on Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Perennials in Korea in May 2019.

Zhuping Fan, Beijing Key Laboratory of Ornamental Plants Germplasm Innovation & Molecular Breeding, National Engineering Research Center for Floriculture, College of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, No.35 East Qinghua Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China, e-mail: fanzpiris0830@bjfu.edu.cn

The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

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Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Perennials
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Young Minds Award Winners