|About the Book|
It was around 1970, I had just completed a 5-year breeding project aiming at fxing fower colour in gerbera progenies: white, yellow, pink, and red- colour homogeneity was sound, but size and shape still required some improvement. The problem wasMoreIt was around 1970, I had just completed a 5-year breeding project aiming at fxing fower colour in gerbera progenies: white, yellow, pink, and red- colour homogeneity was sound, but size and shape still required some improvement. The problem was defnitely resolved by Murashige and Skoog, USA who published a reliable protocol for gerbera micropro- gation. In short, my gerbera seed lines were immediately rendered obsolete by this e- cient cloning system, able to produce millions of plants of a matchless and previously unknown homogeneity, the uniformity of fower shape and colour being the basic requi- ments for the market. The success of micropropagation resulted in a tremendous growth in gerbera fower production worldwide, and this species conquered a leading place in the foriculture industry. This personal experience stresses the impact of micropropagation on the genetic improvement research strategies in ornamentals. Micropropagation has become in- sive, especially in ornamental plant material issues. Today, hundreds of protocols exist- however, only a modest percentage of them are exploited economically. Thus, only micropropagation of plants with a high market price range, like orchids for instance, has proved cost-effective and achieved great success. Micropropagation is a labour-intensive system: hand-power is estimated to rep- sent 60-70% of total costs. This explains the outsourcing of the major labs in developing countries where labour is cheaper. Nevertheless, certain industrial protocols remain a proprietary technology of leading labs, mostly western, with the exception of Japan and Taiwan.