When the fungal disease ‘Impatiens Downy Mildew’ hit the floriculture industry a decade ago, sales of ‘Impatiens wallerina’ dropped – and the need to fill that market niche still exists.
After a global search to collect Impatiens species, hybridize the resistant ones with common ones, and develop new IDM-resistant plants that are seed propagated for commercial breeding, James Keach left Cornell University to join CTAHR.
Meanwhile, the research carried on, and in the summer of 2020, some exciting results occurred: “Our research demonstrated there is polygenic inheritance to IDM resistance with our impatiens hybrids,” James writes. “This kind of inheritance indicates that two or more nonallelic genes are involved collectively in determining inherited resistance to IDM. What this means is resistance to IDM will possibly be greater than those resistant hybrids that are currently available.”
Read all about it in the latest Horticulture Daily World News that features James’ article, Breeding a more disease-resistant impatiens.