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Chrysanthemum Breeding – Problems and prospects

Chrysanthemum Breeding – Problems and prospects

Shisa Ullas
PhD. Research Scholar, Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, IARI, New Delhi

             Chrysanthemum is one of the most beautiful leading commercial flower crop, important as a cut flower for interior decoration and as well as pot plant in the world. It covers an area of 16.83 thousand ha with production of 179.37 million loose flowers and 5.72 million cut flowers (NHB 2013-14). It ranks second in the international cut flower trade. Today the chrysanthemum has earned tremendous popularity in floriculture industry due to wide range of flower color, form and their excellent keeping quality.  Diverse palette of colors, array of shapes and varying sizes of chrysanthemum flowers reflects centuries of breeding. The major hurdles in breeding are Lack of seed set, Undesirable traits are often transferred in to new cultivars, Higher polyploidy level (Hexaploid: 2n=56), High heterozygosity, Longer perianth of the florets often prevents pollination etc (Arvind, 2012). So many different varieties with desirable characters are developed through breeding. Important breeding methods are Introduction, selection, Hybridization and mutation. Among these methods Hybridization and mutation played major role in improvement. Interspecific hybridisation is a promising way to improve their biotic and abiotic resistance (Anderson, 2006).

                Mutation breeding played a pivotal role in generating genetic variation in chrysanthemum. As a result of gamma radiation large numbers of novel mutants appear in the form of chimeras that differ in flower colour, shape and size. Ion beams can produce useful mutations for breeding. With the combination of molecular marker technology and traditional morphological approaches, breeding success will be improved. It will clarify the cross-compatibility among chrysanthemum cultivars and expand the range of breeding resources for genetic improvement. The breeding period will be shortened with the directional transfer of favorable genes and the accumulation of target genes (Kumar 2012).In breeding there is always an ultimate limit, beyond which the species cannot go. Breeders usually find that, after a few generations an optimum is reached beyond which further improvement is impossible. But chrysanthemum appears to be a repository of never ending hidden treasure of genetic richness to generate new variability (Masachika, 2015).


  1. Anderson, N.O. 2006. Chrysanthemum. Dendranthema × grandiflora Tzvelv. p.389-438.In: N.O. Anderson (ed.), Flower Breeding & Genetics: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities for the 21st Century. Springer, Dordrecht.
  2. Arvind.K. Prasad. K.V. Singh. S.K and Surendra Kumar. In-vitro isolation of red coloured mutant from chimeric ray florets of chrysanthemum induced by gamma-ray. Indian J. Hort, 2012, 69(4):562-567.
  3. Kumar.B,Kumar.S,Thakur.M.,In Vitro Mutation Induction and Selection of Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema Grandiflora Tzelev) Lines with Improved Resistance to Septoria Obesa Syd. International Journal of Plant Research, 2012, 2(4): 103-107.
  4. Masachika. O,Yoshihiro.H, Yoshiya.F.Atsushi.T., Tissue-dependent somaclonal mutation frequencies and spectra enhanced by ion beam irradiation in chrysanthemum. Euphytica , 2015, 202:333–343.

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