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CULTIVATION OF FAST GROWING HYBRID LARCH
(LARIX X EUROLEPIS)
DERIVED FROM SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS
Background
In a joint research project, the public enterprise
Sachsenforst and the Institute of Botany of the
Humboldt University of Berlin are working on the
propagation
of
hybrid
larch
by
somatic
embryogenesis for large-scale production. Hybrid
larches have shown heterosis in growth, stem form
and wood mechanical properties as compared to
the parental plants. By using qualitatively high
value plant material new efficient and robust
varieties could provide additional resources for
wood production and provide higher monetary
return within relative short rotation periods.
Difficulties in traditional seed production due to the
biology of the genus
Larix
could make the use of
biotechnological methods worthwhile. In Sachsen-
forst, we investigated the
post vitro
behaviour of
hybrid larch derived from somatic embryogenesis.
Dr. Marianne Kadolsky, Dr. Heino Wolf
Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst, Referat 42, Bonnewitzer Straße 34, 01796 Pirna, Germany.
Email:
Kadolsky.Marianne@smul.sachsen.de
,
Heino.Wolf@smul.sachsen.de
Material and Methods
Selected plus trees from the long-term breeding
program of Sachsenforst comprising 5 family parents
were used for 20 controlled crossings. The immature
seed were supplied to Humboldt University as starting
material for somatic embryogenesis. The emblings
were returned to Sachsenforst for acclimatisation (1)
and further cultivation. For acclimatisation in a
greenhouse with computer-controlled atmosphere the
emblings were sorted to quality (2a, 2b) and
transplanted into Jiffy peat pellets. After acclimatisation
(3), the young plants were potted into Quickpot plates
(QP) of different sizes and transferred to the nursery.
At the end of the vegetation period (4, 5,6) the plant
height was measured. The following year in spring they
were planted on forest plots(7) for demonstration
purposes together with zygotic seedlings as control.
Results
• Number of acclimatised genotypes: 342
• Number of tested emblings: 12.000
• Acclimatisation success:
First quality emblings: 98%
Second quality emblings: 69%
Average: 79%
• Number of young plants: 9.900
• Plant height on average: 35 cm (24 – 52 cm) at
the end of the vegetation period (figure 1)
• Shoot length related to container size after 20
weeks of cultivation, mean values of 3 clones
(figure 2):
23,5 cm in QP 35 (200 cm
3
)
26,5 cm in QP 12 (650 cm
3
)
Conclusions
Somatic embryogenesis proved to be a suitable
method for mass propagation of hybrid larch:
Controlled
crossings,
induction
of
somatic
embryogenesis in a broad spectrum of genotypes,
production of up to several hundred plants per
genotype, acclimatisation and young plant culture with
hardly any losses. After one vegetation period in the
nursery, young plants had reached a suitable size for
being planted on a forest plot, the size being partly
controlled by the container size.
Open questions are:
• In which way can fertilisation be used to influence
plant height and stability?
• Will the further performance of the plants in the field
be better than that of seedlings?
It is very likely that new fast growing varieties are at the
doorstep.
Förderkennzeichen 22034914
1. Hybrid larch emblings
in vitro
2a. First quality emblings
2b. Second quality emblings
2a
2b
0,0
5,0
10,0
15,0
20,0
25,0
30,0
00.33.13
01.96.13
01.99.13
shoot length [cm]
clones
QP 35
QP 12
Figure 2 Shoot length related to container size,
mean values of 3 clones
c
Figure 1 Shoot length related to age,
mean values
of 35 clones
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
11
15
19
23
27
31
35
shoot length [cm]
age [weeks]
5
c
Acknowledgement
We thank our partners at the Institute of Botany of the Humboldt University of Berlin, in particular Anna Kraft and Prof. Dr. Kurt Zoglauer, for very
good cooperation. We thank FNR (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.) for financing the project.
Stand: 8/2016
Young plants of hybrid larch from somatic embryogenesis:
In only 1 year from the Petri dish into the forest.
3
1
4
5. Root system of a young plant
6. Young plants in winter in the
nursery
6
3. Plant height after acclimatisation: 3 cm
4. Plant height after 5 months: up to 52 cm
7. Young plants on a forest plot
7