Induction of early flowering in poplar to speed up breeding for resistance to diseases

Breeding of forest trees has internationally, but also in Germany, a long tradition.

Background and Objective

Trees have, however, because of its long use and reproduction periods, the disadvantage that a significant breeding selection for economically important characteristics is very limited. Thus, shortening of the breeding cycle would represent a realistic opportunity to fasten forest tree breeding significantly.


But to make sure the product range and the quality of forest trees also in the future, the above mentioned disadvantage in terms of predicted climate change, which will probably faster occur as a genetic adaptation of trees is possible, could have dramatic economic and labour market consequences.
A solution to this dilemma could represent the integration of early flowering genotypes in the breeding process of trees. Such early flowering lines are either available as natural mutants arising from normal flowering representatives or can be produced by the genetic transfer of special flowering-enhancing genes.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


2.2011 - 8.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished


hits: 8

  1. Fladung M, Hönicka H (2018) Development of an early flowering system for poplar breeding and biosafety research. In: III International PP1530 Symposium: Genetic Variation of Flowering Time Genes and Applications for Crop Improvement : March 14-16, 2018. pp 22-23
  2. Fladung M, Hönicka H (2016) Forstpflanzenzüchtung auf der Überholspur. AFZ Wald 71(14):21-23
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 308 kb
  3. Hönicka H, Lehnhardt D, Nunna S, Reinhardt R, Jeltsch A, Briones V, Fladung M (2016) Level of tissue differentiation influences the activation of a heat-inducible flower-specific system for genetic containment in poplar (Populus tremula L.). Plant Cell Rep 35(2):369-384, DOI:10.1007/s00299-015-1890-x
  4. Hönicka H, Lehnhardt D, Briones V, Nilsson O, Fladung M (2016) Low temperatures are required to induce the development of fertile flowers in transgenic male and female early flowering poplar (Populus tremula L.). Tree Physiol 36(5):667-677, DOI:10.1093/treephys/tpw015
  5. Bentley AR, Jensen EF, Mackey IJ, Hönicka H, Fladung M, Hori K, Yano M, Mullet JE, Armstead IP, Hayes C, Thorogood D, Lovatt A, Morris R, Pullen N, Mutasa-Göttgens ES, Cockram J (2013) Chapter 1 : Flowering time. In: Kole C (ed) Genomics and breeding for climate-resilient crops : Vol. 2 target traits . Berlin: Springer, pp 1-66
  6. Hönicka H, Lehnhardt D, Polak O, Fladung M (2012) Early flowering and genetic containment studies in transgenic poplar. iForest 5:138-146, DOI:10.3832/ifor0621-005
  7. Fladung M, Hanke MV (2012) Induktion einer frühzeitigen Blüte bei Pappel und bei Apfel zur Beschleunigung der Züchtung auf Resistenz gegenüber Krankheiten (SpeedBreed). In: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (ed) Innovationstage 2012 : Forschungs- und Entwicklungsprojekte ; Programm zur Innovationsförderung des Bundesministeriums für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz. Bonn: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, pp 36-40
  8. Hönicka H, Lautner S, Klingberg A, Koch G, El-Sherif F, Lehnhardt D, Zhang B, Burgert I, Odermatt J, Melzer S, Fromm J, Fladung M (2012) Influence of over-expression of the FLOWERING PROMOTING FACTOR 1 gene (FPF1) from Arabidopsis on wood formation in hybrid poplar (Populus tremula L. x P. tremuloides Michx.). Planta 235(1):359-373