Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 628-634.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.07251

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Germplasm resource base for rhododendron horticulture: status, probl- ems and countermeasures

Hong Wu1,*(), Xuemei Yang1, Huimin Shao2, Fei Wang2   

  1. 1 Sichuan Natural Resource Academy, Chengdu 610041
    2 West China Sub-alpine Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dujiangyan, Sichuan 611830
  • Received:2012-12-24 Accepted:2013-05-15 Online:2013-09-20 Published:2013-10-08
  • Contact: Wu Hong


The germplasm resource of rhododendrons is a potential factor influencing their horticultural development. We discuss the current situation and problems facing utilization and conservation of rhododendrons to provide new thoughts with regard to China’s rhododendron horticulture industry. Currently, only about 12.0-15.0 percent of global rhododendron germplasm resources, and around 8.7-12.2 percent found in China, have been utilized in rhododendron horticulture. The rhododendron species commonly used mainly belong to semi-evergreen and deciduous species, for instance, Subgenera Tsutsusi and Therorhodion. We list some of China’s primitive rhododendron species which are suitable for breeding based on our field observations, and point out some current problems in the utilization of germplasm including insufficient understanding of the value of germplasm resources, limitation of the research platform, and limited technical ability for cultivating new varieties, etc. The rationality and sustainability of germplasm resources should be fully considered and managed in the development of rhododendron horticulture. We suggest the development of a public platform for research and the establishment of 3-5 nature reserves mainly focusing on rhododendron conservation. Also, we advise strengthening of independent research and the development of capabilities and techniques for producing new varieties.

Key words: germplasm resource, resource alliance, intellectual property right, Rhododendron