Research challenges in geophyte science: From basic science to sustainable production

R. Kamenetsky, H. Gude, G.A. Chastagner, H. Okubo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Ornamental geophytes, also called "flower bulbs", play a significant role in the global flower industry and are utilized for the commercial production of cut flowers, potted plants and propagation materials, as well as in landscaping and gardening. Traditionally, the commercial production of these crops prevailed in temperate-climate regions. However, in the last two decades, globalization and increased market competition have led to the development of new production centers in the Southern Hemisphere, Africa and Asia. Tremendous advancement in molecular science and technology in the past couple of decades has brought geophyte research to an entirely new level, including the identification and introduction of genes, which control and regulate flower development, storage organ formation and dormancy, as well as the genetic control of the process of senescence to prolong flower shelf life. To advance the investigation of geophyte biology, a model plant, agreed upon by the scientific community, should be chosen for genetic research. Novel approaches to environmentally-friendly, sustainable production and integrated management have stimulated new research directions. A sustainable agriculture system encompasses conservation of energy, soil, and water, as well as developing economically feasible environmentally-friendly methods and technologies associated with the use of pesticides and nutrients. The combined efforts of governments, industry and research resulted in increased energy efficiency and advanced monitoring systems for pathogens and diseases in geophytes. The cessation in fumigant use particularly methyl bromide, affects the future management of nematodes and other soil-borne pathogens and weeds. Consequently, there is an immediate need to develop new knowledge on pest-plant interactions, as well as new technologies of chemical and biological control. One of the most important research aims and responsibilities for the future is ensuring the conservation and preservation of geophyte biodiversity in their natural habitats. Collecting genetic resources and sampling strategies must be conducted according to national and international laws, and for the benefits of future generations. Efforts at plant conservation in situ and ex situ, genebanks, natural reserves and support for ecological tourism-these actions will eventually not only help preserve natural resources, but promote beautiful flowers and commercially produced rare species or underutilized crops.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-129
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventIHC2014 XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture - Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 17 Aug 201422 Aug 2014

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Research challenges in geophyte science: From basic science to sustainable production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this