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Boxwood Breeding and Selection for Blight Resistance
Boxwood (Buxus L. spp., Buxaceae) are popular woody landscape shrubs grown for their diverse forms and broad-leaved evergreen foliage, with an estimated $141 million economic impact in the U.S. alone. Boxwood plants grown in temperate zones worldwide are threatened by a blight disease caused by the ascomycete fungi Calonectria pseudonaviculata and C. henricotiae. While the disease can be mitigated somewhat through cultural practices and fungicides, the most sustainable long-term solution is the development of disease-resistant boxwood cultivars.

This session delves into interspecific breeding and selection of boxwood towards resistance to Calonectria pseudonaviculata.

Learn from Belgian researcher Katrijn Van Laere, who will share the creation of new boxwood cultivars resistant to boxwood blight, based on interspecific hybridisation and an efficient selection bio-assay.

Aug 25, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Katrijn Van Laere
Senior Researcher @Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food-Plant Sciences Unit (ILVO)
Van Laere obtained a Master's degree in Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University (and completed her PhD at the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) on breeding opportunities for woody plants. Van Laere became a postdoctoral researcher at ILVO, where she currently works as senior scientist. The main focus of Van Laere's research is supporting plant breeding with in vitro, molecular and cytogenetic techniques including chromosome doubling, protoplast fusion, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, microscopic detection of meiotic abnormalities in pollen, and fertility barriers. More recently, she implemented the CRISPR/Cas technology at ILVO for multiple crops and traits. Most projects focus on breeding of woody plants, red clover, and grass species (Lolium, Festuca), for aesthetic characteristics as well as resistance to disease and abiotic stress.