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Identification of vernalization-related genes in Easter Lily
bulbs for molecular markers production, vernalization control and improved flower production


"The flower bulb industry worldwide and specifically in Holland, and the lily sector in particular, represent an important part of the floriculture market. Lily and most bulb speciesrequire prolonged cooling to meet their obligatory vernalization (acquisition of the ability to flower following exposure to prolonged cold) requirement, which is expensive and energy-costly and hinders the production of multiple flower flushes. Although the physiological aspects of vernalization have been studied and led to flowering manipulation in lily, the molecular regulation of this major mechanism is not understood. The purposes of this study are to (1) Elucidate – for the first time – the molecular mechanism of the vernalization response in a flower bulb, (2) Understand the vernalization mechanism and its molecular relation with flowering in lily, (3) Address fundamental questions on conservation of the vernalization response among higher plants, (4) Obtain a reliable ""vernalization marker"" that would indicate the optimal amount of cold required by a bulb for optimal flower production, (5) Create a pool of molecular markers for flowering and other traits, and for cultivar typing and breeding. Genes will be isolated using next generation sequencing techniques developed by the Netherlands-based SME Genetwister, specialist in the production of molecular markers, followed by accurate bioinformatic research. Suitable markers will be selected according to gene expression profile during cold exposure and on the basis of their involvement in biological mechanisms, investigated by the BGU team. Elucidation of the biological mechanisms will yield, valuable scientific data on the molecular basis of vernalization in lily, and, it will make the molecular markers much more precise and powerful.
This project utilises the synergism of BGU and Genetwister expertise to characterise the lily vernalization mechanism, ultimately to introduce a fundamental change into bulb-based flower production."

Field of science

  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture/floriculture

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MC-IAPP - Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)


84105 Beer Sheva
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 187 502
Administrative Contact
Daphna Tripto (Ms.)

Participants (1)

Genetwister Tecnhnologies B.V.
EU contribution
€ 243 810
Nieuwe Kanaal 7B
6709 PA Wageningen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
D.A.M Van Der Kop (Dr.)