Production of Chrysanthemum with autonomous flowering mechanism using CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing technology
Research project 7
Project researcher: Dr. Ben Rimon

Chrysanthemum spp. are obligate short-photoperiod-flowering plants used as cut flowers, pot plants, and garden plants. Chrysanthemum spp. are major ornamental crops that are distributed worldwide with high economic value. Producing high-quality Chrysanthemum with its requirement of a short photoperiod for flowering is challenging because the plants have different photoperiod requirements during production cycles. In the early stages, the development of vegetative mass is required to support and ensure future high-quality flower development.

This process is usually achieved by supplementing additional light in early morning/night in late fall, winter and early spring. The main challenge of chrysanthemum cultivation is to induce flowering at a time of year when the hours of natural light exceed the maximal hours of light required for flowering. During these seasons (late spring, summer and early fall), the grower must extend the dark period in the greenhouse.

In contrast to the simple procedure of adding artificial light, increasing the dark period in greenhouses requires relatively complex and expensive mechanical apparatuses. In addition, in places with a warm climate such as Israel, sealing the greenhouse during the dark period can increase both humidity and temperature. The grower must invest in a cooling system to overcome such problems, resulting in additional growing costs.

Research project 7 - Dr. Ben Rimon
Chrysanthemum

The research aims to generate high-quality commercial Chrysanthemum lines that do not require short days for flowering by targeting using Cas9 technology key negative regulators of flowering under non-inductive conditions. Therefore enabling the generation of Chrysanthemum lines with the optimal ratio of vegetative / reproductive growth and genetic variation in the flowering time will allow year-round production of the same Chrysanthemum cultivars without investing in expensive setups.

Project researcher:

Dr. Ben Rimon

Dr. Ben Rimon
Project researcher

Plant Sciences, Ornamental Plants and Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Email: benrimon@agri.gov.il

Phone: +972-3-9683066

Website: Dr. Ben Rimon

Laboratory website

Research areas:

  • Studying of flowering mechanisms and plant sexual reproduction.
  • Development of genomic editing technologies to improve plant selected traits.

Research partner:

ד"ר ארצ'יט סוד

Dr. Archit Sood
Postdoctoral researcher

Research areas:
The effect of environmental conditions on flower development and control of Chrysanthemum sexual reproduction.

institution:
Plant Sciences, Ornamental Plants and Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.