Research project Identifying the bottlenecks of the hairy roots technology


CO-cultivation platform technology

hairy roots in a petri dish

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Main research question

Despite its economic and environmental benefits, the flow from Ri technology to commercial plant breeding is still limited due to a number of bottlenecks identified in each of the three major steps of the technology: 1) Induction of hairy roots is strongly genotype-dependent and morphological identification is often not possible; 2) Regeneration efficiency of shoots from hairy roots is uncertain and too low; and 3) Optimal selection criteria for Ri lines suitable for further improvement, easily applicable at company level, are lacking. The aim of this co-cultivation platform is to address these bottlenecks.

Research approach

These 3 aspects will be addressed by using (1) reporter genes, (2) examining the role of the TR-DNA in regeneration, (3) looking for the correlation between Ri genotype and phenotype and then developing a suitable breeding strategy.


Solving these bottlenecks will facilitate the flow of scientific knowledge to the business and boost the implementation of the technology.