Breeding Methods to Reduce the Invasive Potential of Nursery Crops
Ryan Contreras, Ph.D. - Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Legislation to restrict production and sale of economically important nursery crops considered invasive is being proposed and enacted in numerous states. The estimated value of nursery crops considered invasive is in the hundreds of millions. In addition to the economic impact, these plants often fill a niche in the urban landscape by growing well under strong abiotic pressure and exhibit resistance/tolerance to pests and diseases that native species have difficulty withstanding. As a result, it is important to develop forms that have reduced fecundity, which will allow growers to market forms of these hardy, non-native species without the danger of causing economic or environmental harm. Techniques to develop forms with reduced fertility such as ploidy manipulation, interspecific hybridization, mutagensis, and combinations of thereof will be discussed.