Submitted to: Handbook of Transgenic Plants
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/30/1999
Publication Date: 1/26/2002
Citation: Levi, A., Sink, K.C. 2002. Progress in asparagus biotechnology. Handbook of Transgenic Plants. pp. 465-474.
Technical Abstract: Asparagus is a high value crop with an increased demand in the Northern Hemisphere. However, in recent years asparagus yields have declined greatly due to the root and crown rot diseases incited by the common soil fungi Fusarium oxysporum and F. moniliform. Asparagus has breeding challenges due to its dioecious reproductive mode, and being a perennial vegetable with a long life cycle. This review describes the progress in using biotechnology tools to improve asparagus. This is with respect to 1) micropropagation of asparagus in tissue culture using somatic embryogenesis techniques, 2) production of double-haploid, all-male hybrid asparagus plants through anther culture, 3) asparagus protoplast culture to develop somatic hybrids and new asparagus varieties, and 4) genetic transformation of asparagus to introduce valuable genes.