MUMFUSE - Protoplast fusion in chrysanthemum: a platform technology for innovative breeding

Project Details


Main research question/goal
In this project we develop the platform technology for symmetric and asymmetric protoplast fusion in chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum cultivars result today either from crossbreeding or mutation breeding. However, all chrysanthemum breeders struggle with limitations mainly due to fertility problems in elite plant material hampering crossbreeding and a genetically narrow advanced genepool limiting the availability of specific traits. Protoplast fusion as asexual method allows (1) to circumvent sterility problems in elite cultivars, (2) to introduce limited DNA amounts or specific traits in elite plants and (3) to enlarge our genetically narrowed breeding pools.

Research approach
We design the basic protocols for protoplast fusion in chrysanthemum. We demonstrate in some practical pilot cases that the technology works. By phenotyping and genotyping of the obtained regenerants we acquire knowledge and skills about the introduction of specific characteristics such as color and flower form via protoplast fusion in elite material. Finally, we determine whether introgression of specific characteristics from selected pre-breeding material in a broader genetic background is possible.

The ultimate goal is to create new cultivars of chrysanthemum that are not achievable through conventional cross breeding. We are almost certain that the technology will be incorporated in the chrysanthemum breeding companies as an additional breeding method once the practical application is demonstrated.  
Effective start/end date1/03/1729/02/20