Floriculture Biotech Moves Forward

September 22, 2006 - 05:24

Over the years, growers have only imagined the possibilities that plant biotechnology might create in the greenhouse. This was due to the fact that most biotech developments were only occurring in the agricultural arena. But as researchers continue to learn more about the genetic engineering of plants and how it can be applied to the real world, some of these possibilities may soon become realities.

Recently, Germany-based breeder and propagator Selecta Klemm (Selecta First Class in the United States) and Mendel Biotechnology, announced plans to form a joint venture to develop and market transgenic ornamental plants. The joint venture, Ornamental Bioscience, will combine Mendel’s technical knowledge involving drought, cold and freeze tolerance, disease resistance and flower stability traits with Selecta’s experience in plant transformation technology, extensive varieties and experience in marketing ornamental plants.

Ornamental Bioscience has secured the commercial rights, through Mendel, to a technology that will enable the new company to bring transgenic ornamental plants to the market. Currently, Ornamental Bioscience is working exclusively on crops from Selecta and is working with petunias, poinsettias, New Guinea impatiens and geraniums.

“From 1995, transgenic plants rapidly captured market in the primary agricultural food crops. Now it is time for ornamental horticulture to catch up,” said Christian Klemm, CEO of Ornamental Bioscience. “We believe that this technology has an exciting future and intend to contribute to its acceptance as an industry standard. As part of this strategy, we will cooperate with leading breeders and distributors for pot plants and cut flowers.”

For more information on Ornamental Bioscience visit www.ornamental-bioscience.com.

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