Variety improvement

Selection of new characterised varieties

Improving the performances of cultivated varieties by creating new varieties meeting eh user / transformer’s requirements. This can comply with the following expectancies :

  • Increase the active substances content
  • Restrain an unwanted substance
  • Research for a new phytochemical profile
  • Yield increase
  • Increase tolerance to bio-offenders (diseases and pests)
  • Adjust to local climatic conditions

Exemples

Annual wormwood (Artemisia annua)

This plant is the only one known for synthetising the artemisinin. This molecule, a sesquiterpenic lactone with a peroxide bridge, is to date the only reference substance for curative treatment of malaria. Used for the production of  ACTs (artemisinin-based combination therapy), it is the WHO’s flagship to fights against this pandemia.

Selecting varieties with a high artemisinin content is the main challenge for the development of artemisia annua commercial cultures. They have to ensure the artemisinin supply and lower its production cost. With nearly 20 years experience, Mediplant is a pioneer in this plant’s selection. .The artemisinin content in the leaves was trebled, now reaching about 1.5 %. Tousands hectares have already been put into culture from our selections, mainly in Africa. Further to our reference variety Artemis PVR, a new variety is currently being registrated by the UPOV.

Our works on this plant’s selection keep going on through several cooperations.

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

The flower top of this species, in the form of a standardised extract, is marketed for the treatment of light to moderate depression. The vegetal drug contents, among others, flavonoids, hypericins and hyperforin.

This perennial species met serious cultural problems in the 90’s, with a dieback sometimes already during the first year of culture. The request addressed to Mediplant was to identify the cause of this dieback, as well as the selection of a new resistant variety. Moreover, the new variety should present a similar phytochemical profile as this of the reference variety (Topas). The comparison of about 40 ecotypes issued from wild collection and botanical gardens, cultivated on various sites, allowed after 4 years observations to identify the fongic organism responsible for the dieback  (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), as well as the selection of a new, more perfomrant variety  (hyperivo7 PVR).

Origan (Origanum sp.)

The very strong worldwide demand for dry origan herb and essential oil, mainly for the agro-food sector, generated numerous researches and the selection of several varieties. .

In order to promote essential oil production for that aromatic plant in new areas, Mediplant was entrusted to compare various commercial origan varieties on several sites in France. The results obtained allowed to define production potentials and the best suitability between varieties and climatic regions.

Seeds production

This activity is the logical continuation of the selection works carried out by Mediplant. It aims at ensuring the availability of new varieties as seeds with a high germination ability and with a good sanitary quality.

This production can be carried out with an exclusivity brief.