Hybrid hazelnut: Micropropagation, rooting and acclimatization

R. P. Pincelli-Souza, M. Tillmann, M. Esler, C. C.D. Alves, Jerry D Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


American hazelnut (Corylus americana Marshall) is a native woody shrub that produces small but tasty nuts. Hybrids between native North American and domesticated European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana L.) combine the nut quality and yield of the European hazelnuts with the hardiness and disease resistance of the natives. Thus, hybrid hazelnuts (C. americana × C. avellana) have the potential to become a profitable and environmentally beneficial crop in the Midwestern United States. In part, their production is currently limited by inefficient methods of vegetative propagation. Although various claims have been made for the success of hazelnut micropropagation, to date significant barriers remain for its full commercialization. The significant challenges are: establishment of explants year-round, the process of initiating rooting, and explant acclimatization. We are using biochemical and physiological approaches to guide the development of environmental and growth conditions necessary to prepare explants to survive ex vitro. Also, because the plant hormone auxin has been implicated in regulation of adventitious rooting, we are measuring differences in auxin metabolism between easy-to-root and difficult-to-root hazelnut genotypes. We are also using a biological screen based on metabolomics to correlate factors such as compounds involved in primary metabolism, secondary products and stress hormone levels to identify molecular indicators of oxidative and abiotic stress, critical for explant survival. The longer-term benefit of this research will be to establish a modern method of commercialization of woody plants via propagation. Currently, most approaches used for establishing conditions for plant transfer have relied on empirical observation, less common has been a systematic approach where each variable is measured and optimized. It is believed that this ordered analysis of the potential variables and the systematic optimization of multiple environmental conditions has promise across an array of potential perennial crops that might be developed for agricultural use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative, the USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Margaret Bailey Endowment for Environmental Horticulture, and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. We would like to thank Professor Stan Hokanson for giving us suggestions to this manuscript to be published.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Abiotic stress
  • Auxin
  • Corylus americana
  • Indole-3-butyric acid
  • Metabolomics
  • Tissue culture


Dive into the research topics of 'Hybrid hazelnut: Micropropagation, rooting and acclimatization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this