Aurel Popescu, Anca Nicoleta Sutan
Full Text PDF | Tulipa, chromosome counts, polyploidy, fluorescence in situ hybridization, genomic homology, genetic improvement.
Due to their extreme popularity as fresh cut flowers and garden plants, and being used extensively for landscaping, tulips undergone a continuous process of selective breeding. For almost nine decades, classical cytogenetic studies, mainly the chromosome counts, have been an important part in the breeding programme for polyploid tulips. The efficiency of breeding is greatly aided by a thorough knowledge of the occurrence of polyploidy in the plant material. While the traditional cytogenetic approaches are still highly useful in selecting polyploids and aneuploids arising from crosses involving (most often) parents of different ploidy or from the material subjected to ploidy manipulation, the new strategies for inducing polyploidy in tulips, either in vivo or in vitro, and advances in molecular cytogenetics are expected to allow a significant increase in breeding efficiency. Together with the shortening of breeding cycle, major genetic improvements could be made for specific traits. In this we review the development of cytogenetic studies in tulips, and the most relevant achievements so far, providing an overview of what we consider to be valuable tools for the processes of selective breeding.