Biotechnology & Quality

The quality of Bamboo Select® plants

Bamboo Select® plants are the result of efficient and up-to-date propagation technologies that ensure the highest quality plants at friendly prices. 

The quality of each Bamboo Select® plant is not only evident in its healthy green foliage, but also in its well-developed and vigorous rhizome system. It is precisely this lower part of the plant that will determine its establishment and growth after planting. 

Considerable know-how has been developed in the selection of elite genotypes as well as in propagation and planting technology. Using our efficient propagation technology, elite bamboos species can be propagated in mass quantities, but severe quality control procedures ensure that each plant conforms to the highest standards of excellence. 

Apart from their well-known horticultural uses, Bamboo Select® plants can be used for numerous alternative applications in landscaping, agriculture, forestry, and nature conservation. Bamboo is a versatile plant that can serve as a wind or visual screen, for soil remediation, the protection and greening of roadsides, or to stabilize verges. 

A large assortment of Bamboo Select® species of tropical and subtropical bamboos are available both for ornamental uses and for reforestation and agro-forestry in warmer regions. In Asia and other parts of the world, bamboo can also be used as a biomass plant, growing in large-scale plantations. The biomass can be used in paper and wood industries or for handicrafts. On marginal soils or deforested land, bamboo can provide an excellent solution to protect the soil against wind erosion. Harvesting after five to seven years yields a lot of biomass, while regrowth develops from the rhizomes.

The Role of Biotechnology

The ultimate goal of Bamboo Select® is to provide high quality plants at affordable prices. This is achieved using a mix of more traditional propagation techniques, such as division or rhizome cuttings, and modern biotechnological micropropagation techniques. 

Micropropagation is a method using tissue culture technology, to produce large quantities of plants in a very short time.

Plants are grown in growth chambers under controlled environmental conditions. On 1 m2 shelf area in a conditioned growth room, 2000 plants can be grown at one time.  

Starting from only a few nodal pieces, within a period of 4-8 months thousands of new plants can be produced. These plants are multiplied every 3-5 weeks and yield 3-6 new plants each. This is an excellent method to propagate new introductions or new selections very rapidly. Moreover, micropropagated plants are small but vigorous growers, free from diseases or pests.

The selection of motherplants that will be micropropagated is crucial. Because micropropagation via axillary branching mimics the natural growth of bamboo, the propagated plants are genetically identical to the mother plant. Therefore a lot of time and energy is used to select elite genotypes. The choice of inferior plants may cause a considerable loss of profit in plantations in the long term. In this selection DNA- fingerprinting techniques are used, both to unequivocally identify genotypes, and to improve selection procedures for elite genotypes.

The leading position of Bamboo Select® is the result on the one hand, of a mix of fundamental and applied research, and of the integration of micropropagation in the plant production chain on the other. Fundamental research on bamboo, including genetic and physiological research, is an important strategy, and Bamboo Select® has an important role to play in this field.

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