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Biotechnology of ornamental plants in Iran: achievements and future challenges

Azadi, P.
Acta horticulturae 2016 no.1131 pp. 97-104
Cyclamen, Dianthus caryophyllus, Fritillaria, Gladiolus, Iris (Iridaceae), Lilium, Narcissus, Primula, Rosa, Tulipa, biotechnology, climatic factors, exports, genetic engineering, greenhouses, horticulture, markets, ornamental plants, public opinion, transgenic plants, Iran
Iran is a country of extremely varied climatic conditions. As a result, numerous wild ornamental plants such as tulips, fritillaria, rose, narcissus, lily, iris, carnation, gladiolus, primula and cyclamens are grown in different regions of the country. The total area under ornamental plants cultivation including greenhouses and open area is over 5,000 ha. There is still increasing demand for ornamental plants in the Iranian markets and the government also tends to support the growth of the horticulture sciences including ornamental plants in order to boost non-oil exports. Therefore the research works are being carried out to meet such a demand. On the other hand, biotechnology and more specifically plant genetic engineering has found its place in Iran and is widely considered as a very helpful tool to improve the quality and quantity of plants. Moreover, the public perception of genetically-modified (GM) ornamental plants is generally more positive than that of the edible GM plants, and therefore, ornamental transgenic plants could also play an important role in expanding such acceptance to the other GM products in Iran. In the present article, some of the recent research achievements in ornamental plant biotechnology are reported. Moreover, the challenges faced and future prospective have been elaborated.