Climate change has become a challenge for the floricultural industry.
Breeding improvements are essential to keep up with continuing climate change. AmeriSeed is one of the world’s leading marigold breeding and production companies. It has become increasingly important for Ameriseed to develop varieties that are resistant to the extreme climate, which was not needed 15 years ago. Marigolds are grown in many different parts of the world, with large differences in climate and daylight hours. Ameriseed is conducts marigold trials in key climatic areas and are currently conducting a cool season, short-day trial in Northern Thailand. “We gain hands-on experience of the marigolds’ reaction to extremes of climate. The information we collect from trials gives pointers to our breeders as to where genetic improvements need to be made”, says AmeriSeed’s Beam Sailern.
Climate, breeding, and trials
Climate is an important point of focus in AmeriSeed’s breeding activities. “Our breeding and seed production teams continually upgrade and improve our existing varieties to cope with the new extremes of climate and also take into account growers’ comments and requests for varietal improvements. It is of vital importance to be able to provide varieties suitable for high heat, high humidity, as well as drought tolerance.” To present the best lines of dwarf, intermediate and tall marigold types and develop technical advice for growers, our breeding, research, and development teams conduct trials in different climatic areas of the world.
Cool season, short-day trial
AmeriSeed is currently conducting a cool season, short-day trial in Northern Thailand. “This trial includes both current commercial varieties with improvements and new breeding lines. The trials are divided into two zones; open field trials in raised beds and greenhouse container trials under plastic. The cool season in Thailand has 10 to 11 hours of daylight, lasting from December to February. The trials also include areas using night interruption lighting techniques to mimic long daylight of up to 15 hours for a period of 35 days after transplanting dates.”
“The Data collection team measures and records the phenotypic traits & characteristics of each variety daily, and results are analyzed and shared with our distributors and their growers. Measurements include plant high, plant width, number of branches, stem length, number of usable stems per plant, number of flowers per plant, flower size, flower firmness, and vase life. Disease, insect, heat, and drought tolerance are also measured.” The result from the trial will be available in March.
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