Istituto Sperimentale per la Floricoltura di Sanremo

XXII EUCARPIA Symposium - Section Ornamentals - Breeding for Beauty

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XXII EUCARPIA Symposium (Section Ornamentals)

The XXII International Symposium of EUCARPIA – Section Ornamentals was held in Sanremo, Italy (11-15 September 2006). The meeting title was: “Breeding for Beauty”. Local organiser was the CRA-Experimental Institute for Floriculture of Sanremo.
The Symposium brought together about 200 people of breeding companies, science and administration from all over the world. This gave the opportunity to exchange and discuss new results and approaches with the common concern to promote research and practical work in ornamental plant breeding.
Four topics were selected for the Symposium:

1) Exploitation of biodiversity:
in particular Dr. Tombolato (Brazil) and Dr. Chen (China) presented several native species that have potential as new floricultural crops (cut flowers, garden flowers, indoor foliage plants etc.)
2) In vitro manipulation:
Dr. Mohan Jain presented an overview of mutation breeding of selected ornamental plants, and successful examples of ornamental mutants developed in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
3) Molecular methods in genetic improvement:
of particular interest was the presentation of Dr. Tzfira that showed how Agrobacterium hijacks basic cellular processes and uses various plant factors for the transport of its DNA through the host-cell cytoplasm and nuclear membrane and for its integration into the host genome. These studies hold great promise for the future of plant biotechnology, as they can potentially be used to develop new techniques and methods which will expand Agrobacterium's host range to plant species. Dr. Vainstein showed the use of VIGS (virus-induced gene silencing) for large-scale identification of floral scent genes. The advantages of VIGS and of petunia as a model plant create a solid infrastructure for the future isolation of regulatory factors involved in floral scent production/emission. Knowledge gained from an understanding of mechanisms leading to floral scent production/emission should provide us with better insight into nature's way of ensuring evolutionary success, as well as with advanced tools for the metabolic engineering of fragrance.
4) Breeders’ rights - molecular and phenotypical characterization:
Dr. Button showed that one aspect of the UPOV Convention explored the provision for essentially derived varieties. The relationship between initial varieties and essentially derived varieties was explained and the role of the authorities in matters concerning essentially derived varieties was considered.  An overview of the current situation with regard to the possible use of molecular techniques in the DUS (distinctness, uniformity and stability) examination was also presented by reference to proposals considered within UPOV.

In total Nine invited speakers provided state of the art information of these topics, while 18 oral communications, selected by the Scientific Committee, dealt with special aspects. About 80 posters were presented and 17 of them were selected for a short oral presentation.
During the technical visits, some ornamental plant breeding companies from Italy and France gave an insight into their breeding activities.
We thanks the Organizing and the Scientific Committees, who kindly took charge for the running of this Symposium, and the staff involved in preparing the various Symposium events. Moreover, our special thanks go to the sponsors whose gift and generous financial support have contributed to the success of the Symposium.
The next EUCARPIA meeting – Section Ornamentals- will take place in The Netherlands and that the chairman will be Dr. Jaap Van Tuyl.
Antonio Mercuri
Corso Inglesi 508, 18038 Sanremo – Italy

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