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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 314: II International Symposium on Propagation of Ornamental Plants

THE HISTORY OF PLANT PROPAGATION METHODS DURING THE LAST 70 YEARS

Author:   K. Mendel
Keywords:   History, technological and scientific development
Abstract:
About 70 years ago, ornamentals, especially trees and shrubs, were used mostly on large areas: parks and roads, and large estates. Social changes, growth and spread of large cities with residential areas and air communication enabling exchange of plants over the whole world, contributed to mass production of ornamentals, demanding constantly improved methods of plant propagation. As a matter of fact, the basic plant propagation methods: seeding, rhizomes and related organs, layering, cuttings and grafting have existed since times almost immemorial. Changes and improvements of these basic methods during the time in question were mostly developments in techniques, caused by the scientific progress in plant physiology, biochemistry, environmental influences, etc., and their combination and interaction with the plant material. Industrial development, especially the plastics industry, contributed decisively in advancing the infrastructure of plant propagation procedures, e.g. mist propagation. The only additional plant propagation method developed during the period of this discussion, is tissue culture propagation. This could only be achieved after acquiring basic knowledge about the influences of various plant hormones on callus cell differentiation and morphogenesis. And this propagation method — as well as others — is being constantly improved by new experiences in the mode of action of various growth regulators and in the application of biotechnological and molecular genetic methods.
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