Molecular biology methods have promising applications in cultivar identification. Because frauds on varietal identity has important consequences on the ornamentals' market, this application is of a great interest for the European growers. We have chosen the Pelargonium (also called Geranium) as a model plant in MAP project and we expect that our approach will benefit all plant species encountering similar problems of fraud as well fresh plants as food raw materials. MAP is a prec.ompetitive Research and Development project which aims to study the feasibility of molecular method for two applications: 1- Methodology for detection of illegal vegetative multiplication of crops. National and European Plant Breeders Rights exist to fight this kind of fraud. However, due to the complexity of defending breeders' claims with official test of distinction, they are rarely used. MAP project will study the feasibility of varietal identification using molecular methods. Ultimately, this technique should represent a rapid and cheap tool for controlling varieties in propagation greenhouses and in retail outlets. It should be used by breeders to: - varietal certification of production under contract of license - defending breeders' claim in case of litigation.
2 - Complementar;y tool for Plant Protection Rights (DUS test).
Each commercial cultivar has to satisfv the so-called DUS test (Distinction, Uniformity and Stability) before being properly registered. MAP project will study the pertinence of molecular methods to the work of Plant Protection procedure. The molecular method could help to pre-screen the control varieties for distinction test.
This kind of technique could also be an efficient and complementary tool to evidence cases of essentially derived varieties.
This work will be performed by laboratories of molecular biology. Major Pelargonium breeding SME's are directly involved in the project as experts (The project gathers about 60 % of European Pelargonium breeding activity). The Plant Protection Institution, which deal with Pelargonium protection is also implicated as an expert in the project.
In the first phases of MAP project, the most relevant molecular technologies will be investigated and compared with a set of Pelargonium varieties. Then the selected technique will be applied on a large scale on collections of cultivated Pelargonium and on plants issued of specific crosses. In the last phase, the method will be tested by the Plant Protection Institution which implicated in the project, as complementary tool for DUS test. And breeders will test the method to for detection of illegal vegetative multiplication of frauds.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
60439 Frankfurt Am Main
49035 Angers Cedex
KY16 9AJ St Andrews