General Conference abstract: The 20th International Conference – Life Science for Sustainable Development, Romania, September 23-25 2021


Mihaiela Cornea-Cipcigan, Cristian Radu Sisea, Rodica Pop, Emmy Dhooghe, Ellen De Keyser, Adriana Aurori

Poster presentation -

Introduction: Despite progresses made in agriculture, the rapid environmental changes urge researchers to find new breeding strategies for yield improvement of Helianthus annuus (sunflower), one of the most important sources of edible oil. In this context, morphological characteristics of roots could be used as indicators for drought resistance (Comas et al., 2013).

Aims: This review aims to present advancements regarding the response of sunflower to transformation with Rhizobium rhizogenes as part of the strategy for inducing a stronger root system.

Results and discussions: Based on the achievements in rapeseed and different species from the Asteraceae family (chicory, Osteospermum (Desmet et al., 2021)), in which transformation via R. rhizogenes was successful, the expectations of obtaining the same results for sunflower are high. Unfortunately, sunflower proved to be recalcitrant to in vitro regeneration, particularly from roots, so only transformed roots and chimeric plants were obtained when using rhizobacteria (Parks et al., 2020). However, the chimeric plants could be used as a standalone system to study the functionality of the roots.

Conclusion: More efforts are needed for establishing a successful breeding strategy for sunflower using rhizobacteria to obtain an increase of tolerance to drought.


  1. Comas L., Becker S., Cruz V.M.V., Byrne P.F. and Dierig D.A. (2013). Root traits contributing to plant productivity under drought. Frontiers in plant science. 4:442.
  2. Desmet S., Dhooghe E., De Keyser E., Van Huylenbroeck J., and Geelen D. (2021). Compact shoot architecture of Osteospermum fruticosum transformed with Rhizobium rhizogenes. Plant Cell Reports. 1-14.
  3. Parks T., and Yordanov Y.S. (2020). Composite plants for a composite plant: an efficient protocol for root studies in the sunflower using composite plants approach. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. 140:647-659.