How many broken hearts or long faces of regret can cause a bouquet of withered, discolored, asymmetrical flowers and even worse if it is Valentine's Day. As a contribution that helps to avoid sad faces by contributing to the quality of chrysanthemums, the Plant Biotechnology Unit (UBi) of the CES University, in Medellín, evaluated the presence of viruses and viroids in more than 400 varieties of chrysanthemums, many of them which are grown in Antioquia and are destined for commercialization in international markets this February 14.
The varieties of chrysanthemums examined by Colombian researchers are part of a significant sample, since 40% of the companies in Antioquia that represent 60% of the production of the floral species in Colombia, evaluate their materials at the UBi.
“At the Plant Biotechnology Unit we place chrysanthemum plants selected here in the country under in vitro conditions, which are potentially new varieties in the future, this makes it easier for breeders to export these materials so that they reach the Netherlands and other countries and further evaluations can be made there, as part of the process of becoming commercial varieties with Colombian origins ”, explained Diego Martínez Rivillas, biologist and PhD in Biology, teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Sciences and Biotechnology of the CES University.
The analysis consists of evaluating samples of the plants that will be used as starting material in commercial crops, this in order to detect viruses and viroids that cause affectations that limit the quality and productivity of the crops. It is done using molecular tools and techniques, which contributes to the phytosanitary quality of export chrysanthemums from Antioquia for such special dates as Valentine's Day, among others.
In 2018, the Plant Biotechnology Unit (UBi) of the CES University placed more than 5,000 plants in in vitro conditions that were sent to Mexico and the Netherlands, and others to growers in Colombia.