"Our goal is to grow scaly lily bulbs with zero pesticides by 2030"

Researchers at the Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands have successfully grown proper scaly lily bulbs from tissue culture material. They did so in a greenhouse in just nine months. Not only that, they didn't use any pesticides.

However, planting material cultivated like this sometimes shows growth defects. That's after it's planted outside. So, the researchers will continue to search for what causes this.

“The lilies grow beautifully in the greenhouse. They just don't stop," explains Casper Slootweg. He's leading the 'Vitale lelieteelt' 2030 (Vital Lily Growing 2030 Project). "We don't really yet understand why bulbs stop growing and go dormant. There are theories."

"But we don't yet grasp the whole process. The greenhouse conditions probably disrupt the processes that determine this plant hibernation. It requires more in-depth research. This disruption doesn't only happen in lilies. We've observed similar symptoms in other bulbous plants."

Knowledge impetus

The project began in 2017 and will continue through 2021. It's part of the 'Groene Gewasbescherming' (Green Crop Protection) knowledge impetus. The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality subsidizes the project. It aims to develop new resilient cultivation systems by 2030.

Source: Wageningen UR

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