Skip to main content

New Developments in Molecular Techniques for Breeding in Ornamentals

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Ornamental Crops

Part of the book series: Handbook of Plant Breeding ((HBPB,volume 11))


In ornamental crops the development of genetic and molecular tools for breeding has been slow because of the large number of ornamental species, many of which are genetically complicated for breeding, being outbreeding crops, polyploid, and/or having a large genome.

This is changing due to three recent developments: (i) next-generation sequencing can now generate large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers based on genomic or transcriptomic sequences, (ii) efficient and automated SNP detection systems render genotyping into an automated and relatively cheap process, and (iii) methods and software now exist to analyse these data, also in polyploid crops, to find associations with traits and to generate tools for marker-assisted breeding. The challenge for the coming years will be to implement these tools to speed up breeding.

When more genome sequences of ornamental species or related species become available, it will also be possible to move from associated markers (for a trait or QTL region) to the underlying variation in the causal genes. Knowledge of the existing variation in functional alleles will make it possible to consider directing biosynthetic or regulatory pathways towards, e.g. different colour or scent combinations.

New plant breeding techniques (also called ‘precision breeding techniques’) add new possibilities to direct the breeding process. Notably, gene editing (also called genome editing) using Crispr/Cas may be used to increase the pool of functional variation, but there are challenges to apply it in ornamentals, in terms of the availability of sequence information for the candidate genes and the existence of transformation and regeneration protocols.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 299.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 379.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 379.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


Download references


This research was partially supported by KB-24-002-017 and the TKI-U Polyploid projects BO-26.03-002-001 and BO-26.03-009-004. The support of the companies participating in the Polyploid projects is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marinus J. M. Smulders .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Smulders, M.J.M., Arens, P. (2018). New Developments in Molecular Techniques for Breeding in Ornamentals. In: Van Huylenbroeck, J. (eds) Ornamental Crops. Handbook of Plant Breeding, vol 11. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics