Lavender Cultivation in Bulgaria – 21st Century Developments, Breeding Challenges and Opportunities

S. STANEV1, T. ZAGORCHEVA2 and I. ATANASSOV2
1 Agricultural Academy, Institute of Roses and Aromatic Plants, BG-6100 Kazanlak, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural Academy, AgroBioInstitute, BG-1164 Sofi a, Bulgaria

Abstract

STANEV, S., T. ZAGORCHEVA and I. ATANASSOV, 2016. Lavender cultivation in Bulgaria – 21st century developments, breeding challenges and opportunities. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 22: 584–590

Bulgaria has a near century long tradition in lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill) cultivation and essential oil production. Following signifi cant reduction of lavender plantations during the country’s transition period at the end of the last century, the industrial lavender cultivation gained considerable attention and rapid expansion during the last decade. Here we present the main trends of the 21st century developments of the industrial lavender cultivation in Bulgaria. The data of parallel growing and essential oil production of the currently cultivated Bulgarian lavender varieties demonstrate the higher impact of cultivating vegetative propagated varieties instead of seed derived lavender populations. The main directions and challenges of the 21st century lavender growing in the country related to increased lavender cultivation are pointed out. The recent advances in development of lavender genomic resources, molecular markers, comparative analysis of fl ower volatiles and related opportunities for targeted breeding and marker assisted selection are discussed.

Keywords: Lavandula angustifolia, lavender varieties, Bulgaria, cultivation, essential oil, targeted breeding
Abbreviations: EST – Expressed Sequence Tag; SSR – Simple Sequence Repeat; SRAP – Sequence-Related Amplifi ed Polymorphism; GC/MS – Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry

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