Willow is a versatile crop with considerable potential as a source of renewable biomass for bioenergy. Although breeding new varieties takes less time compared with some other tree species, producing new willow varieties is still a slow, labour-intensive process, partly because clonally propagating the results of each cross is a bottleneck early in the breeding scheme. In this paper, we describe a facile, rapid method for the in vitro culture of a wide range of willow genotypes. We have developed a combination of media and methods for efficient tissue-culture propagation to rapidly multiply individual plants and simultaneously produce clean, stock germplasm applicable to a wide range of willow genotypes that can be phytosanitary tested to demonstrate their disease-free status. The micropropagation method described could generate in the order of 5000 viable, transplantable clones from a single plant in just 24 weeks and was used to produce phytosanitary tested breeding material for export to overcome restriction on the international transport of woody cuttings. This method could represent a valuable biotechnology adjunct to willow breeding programmes and could accommodate early selection via molecular or biochemical markers.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Forest Research|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Nov 2015|
- willow breeding (Salix)
- in vitro culture