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GENEROSE
Genetic evaluation of European rose resources for conservation and horticultural use

This project focuses on the conservation and use of natural resources in the genus Rosa. Attempts to preserve rose gene pools without sufficient knowledge about the genetic background may counteract efforts to increase biodiversity, compromise the maintenance of (rare) indigenous species in landscaping and make it difficult to (re)introduce autochthonous plant material in the wild. Given that genetic authenticity is an important feature in nature conservancy, the use of molecular tools to perform an in-depth investigation of genetic variability and relatedness is of the utmost importance. The phylogeny of the wild species will be analysed using DNA sequencing and AFLP, and the ancestral species of the modern cultivars will be determined. Suitable methods for vegetative propagation of the indigenous material will be developed for future use in landscaping.
Introduction of germplasm from wild species is a prerequisite for improving disease resistance in modern rose cultivars. For enlargement of the relatively small gene pool in rose cultivars, wild rose species must be characterised and problems due to crossing barriers between these species and modern cultivars must be solved. This project aims to focus on crossing barriers that are caused by different ploidy levels. Besides classical techniques like chemically induced chromosome doubling or dihaploidisation, modern techniques like pollen sorting will be used.
Disease resistance is a very important feature in modern sustainable agriculture, which aims at a low environmental impact. In rose culture (both garden roses and cut flowers), fungicides are used to an ever-increasing extent. For garden roses, the use of chemicals is not even limited to the primary production but occurs also in private and public gardens where plants are sprayed several times a year. Wild roses constitute a promising source for fungal disease resistance. Therefore, more knowledge on the sources of resistance, the existence of different physiological races of the pathogens, and standardised disease screening methods are needed.

Objectives
Conservation by use is the best way forward for along-term sustainable protection of the remaining resources. The project has three main objectives:
1) sutainable conservation of wild rose resources by attributing them an extra value in landscapingor for disease resistance breeding
2) efficient screening techniques for fungal disease resistance
3) strategies to overcome crossing barriers between wild species and cultivated roses.

Progress to Date
The collection of wild rose populations from all over Europe used a new sampling protocol. AFLP fingerprinting has been completed and resulted in a first delineation of the genetic diversity for wild rose species.
A first pollen sorting technique based on size difference of haploid and diploid pollen has been worked out.
The collection of pathotypes from powdert mildew, downymildew, black spot and rust was begun for the characterisation of fungal diseasesand sources of resistance.

Classified in HORTICULTURE, CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, GENOMICS, BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, COEXISTENCE

Scientist responsible for the project

Dr JAN DE RIEK
Caritasstraat 21
9090 Melle
Belgium - BE

Phone: +32 9 272 2881
Fax: +32 9 272 2901
E-mail: j.deriek@clo.fgov.be

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-01278
Organisation Centre for Land-Use Research, Ghent
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 January 2003
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 2 923 376 €
Total EC contribution   1 945 390 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.generose.org

The partners

  • FEDERAL CENTRE FOR BREEDING RESEARCH ON CULTIVATED PLANTS, Germany - DE
    t.debener@bafz.de
  • THE SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCESSLU/BALSGAARD - DEPARTMENT OF CROP SCIENCES, Sweden - SE
    hilde.nybom@vv.slu.se
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