Ball Horticultural Company, KeyGene Announce Successful Genome Sequencing of Impatiens

After years of research, Ball Horticultural Company has announced the successful sequencing and assembly of the Impatiens walleriana genome. This first-of-its-kind project, a collaborative effort with KeyGene, an ag biotechnology company, creates a highly accurate tool for breeders looking to provide new solutions to the horticulture industry in Impatiens.

“Genome sequencing and assembly not only provides a more efficient approach to breeding and plant trait identification, it also provides a deeper understanding of our products and their ultimate potential in the marketplace,” says Matt Mouw, Chief Technology Officer for Ball Horticultural Company.

Over the course of the project, Ball and KeyGene achieved 100x coverage using long read sequencing technology, which has already led their breeding teams to better utilize significant key plant genes, specifically, genes that confer high resistance to impatiens downy mildew (IDM). The disease has severely impacted global sales of I. walleriana since 2008. By utilizing this new resource of high resistance, along with these newly available genomics tools, breeding companies like PanAmerican Seed are closer than ever to producing impatiens with high resistance to IDM.

“With this new understanding of I. walleriana, we will continue to lead the industry toward grower solutions,” says Matt Kramer, Research Director at Ball Horticultural Company. “Dedicated work by our breeding teams in recent years has produced positive results, and we can’t wait to share our discoveries.”

How the Genome Sequencing Will Help Growers

Since the beginning of the IDM outbreak, PanAmerican Seed has felt a responsibility to the industry to address the issue and find a solution, according to Anne Leventry, President of PanAmerican Seed.

“PanAmerican Seed understands the importance of this crop at all levels — it is important to the grower, the retailer, the landscape sector, and especially to the consumer,” Leventry told Greenhouse Grower magazine. “There are few horticultural crops that can deliver the color impact in heavy shade that Impatiens can. So, this product has been missed in the marketplace.

“Using these new genomic tools and resources, we are very pleased that we will be able to deliver Impatiens varieties to customers in the near future that will solve this problem,” Leventry says.

While PanAmerican Seed has worked to address IDM solutions over the past five years, the impatiens genome project took more than two years to complete. It included disciplines from many areas of the industry, including pathologists, breeders, seed technologists, product development teams, and production.

“It was truly two key projects brought together to produce great success overall,” says Ruud Brinkkemper, General Manager of PanAmerican Seed B.V. in Venhuizen, NL. “The sequencing and assembly of the I. walleriana genome has empowered me to better use the plant’s genetic potential to unlock important traits through the use of traditional breeding techniques.”

“KeyGene is proud of its collaborative spirit, and the project with Ball has been especially satisfying, as it has directly impacted current breeding and product development,” says Arjen J. van Tunen, CEO of KeyGene. “All sequence and molecular breeding data were transferred to an I. walleriana CropPedia, a KeyGene software that enables easy and comprehensive analysis and marker/gene identification. In combination with our sequencing and assembly strategy, this proved to be vital for the success of the project.”

According to Mouw, Ball Horticultural Company has committed to a significant investment in the area of advanced plant technology, with the goal to deliver products, services, and solutions to the industry.

“This is the first in what will promise to be a pipeline of opportunities in seed and vegetative products that wouldn’t before have been possible,” Mouw says.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Sedum-Pillow-Talk

February 20, 2018

12 New Poinsettias and Succulents for Holiday Sales, Crafting, and Landscaping

Poinsettias and succulents are both in-demand products with today’s consumers. Here’s a look at some of the newer introductions available for retail sales in 2018 and 2019.

Read More
Pepper-Mexican-Sunset

February 19, 2018

All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Announces New Display Gardens and Judges

All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.

Read More

February 6, 2018

20 Trends That Dominated at TPIE

If you're looking to stay on top of the current trends to stay ahead of the competition and increase value to your clients by helping them stay at the forefront of their industry, check out some of the new products and ideas we saw trending at TPIE this year.

Read More
Latest Stories
Sedum-Pillow-Talk

February 20, 2018

12 New Poinsettias and Succulents for Holiday Sales, Cr…

Poinsettias and succulents are both in-demand products with today’s consumers. Here’s a look at some of the newer introductions available for retail sales in 2018 and 2019.

Read More
Pepper-Mexican-Sunset

February 19, 2018

All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Ann…

All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.

Read More

February 6, 2018

20 Trends That Dominated at TPIE

If you're looking to stay on top of the current trends to stay ahead of the competition and increase value to your clients by helping them stay at the forefront of their industry, check out some of the new products and ideas we saw trending at TPIE this year.

Read More

February 4, 2018

2017 University of Wisconsin Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin's West Madison Ag Research Station display gardens in Verona, WI.

Read More

February 2, 2018

2017 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Field Trials…

Check out the 2017 field trials results for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio.

Read More
Youngs-Plant-Farm-Landscape-bed

January 31, 2018

2017 Young’s Plant Field Trials Results

Check out the field trials results for Young’s Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More

January 30, 2018

Grow High-Quality ‘Lyra’ and ‘Mirage&…

Syngenta Flowers' Technical Services Manager Karl Trellinger gives production recommendations for growing high-quality 'Lyra' and 'Mirage' poinsettias.

Read More
Poinsettia-Mirage-Red-Syngenta-Flowers

January 30, 2018

Growing Tips for ‘Mirage’ and ‘Lyra’ Poinsettias

Both varieties are easy to grow without any special requirements, can handle all climates, and perform well under low light conditions.

Read More
Welby-container-trials

January 29, 2018

2017 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Ornamental pepper 'Sedona Sun'

January 28, 2018

2017 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Jackson, TN.

Read More
Zinnia-Magellan-Orange

January 27, 2018

2017 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for The University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center Horticulture Display Garden in Morris, MN.

Read More
Scaevola-Surdiva-Blue-Violet

January 25, 2018

2017 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2017 field trial results for the Pike Creek Horticulture Center, Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Raker calibrachoa trial

January 24, 2018

2017 Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Field Trial Res…

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Raker-Roberta's Young Plants in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
2018 Costa Open House

January 23, 2018

2018 Costa Open House: Standout Plants and Products

See what plants and products caught our eye at the Costa Farms open house in Miami, FL.

Read More
shade-trials-OKSU

January 22, 2018

2017 Oklahoma State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, OK.

Read More
Pennisetum-Feathertop_Feature-Image_NDSU

January 21, 2018

2017 North Dakota State University Field Trials

Check out the 2017 field trial results for North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences in Fargo, ND.

Read More
Mixture-of-Begonia-Megawatt-and-Whopper-series_OSU

January 19, 2018

2017 The Ohio State University Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for The Ohio State University/Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, OH.

Read More
Sedeveria-Lilac-Mist-feature

January 19, 2018

Hot-Selling Succulents Remain Hip, With No End in Sight

Succulents continue to fascinate people of all ages and gardening abilities. Perhaps that’s because they still have the right stuff to attract attention.

Read More