General Conference abstract: NVPW Spring Symposium, The Netherlands, June 3 2022
Siel Desmet, Ellen De Keyser, Danny Geelen, Emmy Dhooghe
Plant quality is a primary concern for plant growers. One of the main aspects of plant quality is the plant growth habit, which should be compact and densely branched. For many horticultural crops, compactness is usually obtained through the application of chemical growth retardants. However, plant growers today are faced with increased restrictions on the use of plant growth regulators. Increased independence of growth retardants would offer substantial economic and ecological benefits, and would contribute towards a more environmental friendly plant production. Here, we report on the viability and scope of the genetic transformation strategy using wild type Rhizobium rhizogenes, coined Ri technology, that was implemented to obtain compact growing varieties. Indeed, our results show that more compact genotypes (Ri lines) can be obtained in a broad range of ornamentals crops (e.g. Sinningia speciosa, Viola x wittrockiana and Osteospermum fruticosum). The resulting plants, not classified as genetically modified, will prove useful in future breeding towards compact varieties that require little to no chemical growth regulation.