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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1145: International Symposium on Biotechnology and Other Omics in Vegetable Science

Applications of genetic engineering in Allium

Authors:   F. Hancı, E. Cebeci
Keywords:   Allium, transformation, GMO, onion, garlic
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1145.11
Abstract:
After centuries of improving crop plants by breeding for desirable traits, agricultural scientists are now using the tools of molecular biology and genetic engineering to develop transgenic plants with the desired genes. Transfer of suitable genes from one organism to another is possible due to developments in biotechnology. This technology is used in changing and improvement of plants and animals for different purposes. Onion (Allium cepa L.) and its close relatives garlic (A. sativum), leek (A. porrum), and chives (A. schoenoprasum), family Liliaceae, are common vegetable crops throughout the world. These species have a biennial habit and many cultivars are open pollinated; and high levels of heterozygosity must be maintained. Interspecific hybrids are sterile or have poor fertility causing problems in the transfer of characteristics between cultivars or species. While considerable progress has been made in these plants improvement through conventional breeding programs, genetic engineering offers additional possibilities to enhance several features in Allium spesies especially onion. This review outlines the potential for developing a reliable transformation system for Allium.

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