Research has been carried out to develop and improve in vitro techniques for the genetic improvement of flax and linseed. The principal achievements were as follows:
establishment of protocols for the callus and suspension culture of selected flax and linseed cultivars;
the development of regeneration and adaptation protocols to enable seed bearing R0's to be produced;
the development of in vitro selection protocols using herbicide and disease toxin selection pressures;
the characterisation of somaclonal variation in around 300 somaclonal lines of flax and linseed via R0, R1 and R2 generations;
the establishment of protocols for the field evaluation of somaclonal variants in flax and linseed;
the establishment of in vivo assays to assess the levels of resistance in linseed lines to infection by Fusarium oxysporum;
the assessment of a wide range of protocols for the production and isolation of microspores in selected genotypes of flax;
the determination of the optimal conditions for characterizing viability in flax microspores;
the development of enzyme systems to achieve nonmechanical isolation of flax microspores;
examination of the time course of microspore viability in vitro.
This research proposal aims to improve L. ussitatissimum cultivars using a novel strategy combining classical selection and breeding methods with more fundamental aspects of plant biotechnology. Callus and another culture techniques will be designed to increase the breeding efficiency and to exploit the generation of somoclonal variants in L. usitatissimum. Selection in culture and at the whole plant level will identify genetic resources to improve major characteristics (crop yield, oil and fiber; earlyness of maturity; synchronisation of development, oil and fiber bearing organs) and specialised characterisics (salt, drought, herbicide tolerance and edible quality oil). The exchange of methodologies, genetic material, field observations and staff expertise will constitute an integral part of the operational programme.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6708 PB Wageningen