Ploidy Breeding in Ornamentals

  • Tom EeckhautEmail author
  • Jeroen Van der Veken
  • Emmy Dhooghe
  • Leen Leus
  • Katrijn Van Laere
  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 11)


Ploidy alterations are frequently used in ornamental plant breeding to induce novel variation, to overcome crossing barriers, or to create homogenous lines. Here we review three in vitro ploidy breeding tools with proven practical potential: mitotic polyploidization using mitosis arresting chemicals, meiotic polyploidization through the application of 2n gametes, and haploidization through either male or female gamete regeneration or sexual hybridization techniques. For each tool, we present the state of the art, summarize recent progress, and report on the relative success of different approaches. We summarize the technical procedures of those techniques and their advantages, drawbacks, and repercussions for plant breeding. For mitotic polyploidization, we compare the effects of mitotic inhibitors through meristem treatment, short exposure, and chronic exposure. For unreduced gamete formation via chemicals, we describe N2O exposure and temperature treatment. For haploid induction, we compare possibilities of parthenogenesis, microspore embryogenesis, and gynogenesis/androgenesis. To conclude, we present the perspectives for further research in all of these fields. In the future we expect progress in elucidating molecular backgrounds of 2n gamete formation and their interaction with the environment and the implementation of CENH3 modification as an alternative for classical haploidization techniques. Although our goal is not to provide detailed protocols, we have compiled a basic manual for ploidy breeding. This text gives technical insights into the different induction methods and correlates those to consequences for use in practical breeding.


2n gametes Haploid In vitro Polyploidy Regeneration 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Eeckhaut
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeroen Van der Veken
    • 1
  • Emmy Dhooghe
    • 1
  • Leen Leus
    • 1
  • Katrijn Van Laere
    • 1
  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Plant Sciences Unit, Applied Genetics and BreedingMelleBelgium

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