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Speaker: Ryan Contreras, Associate Professor, Ornamental Plant Breeding at Oregon State

Session Title:  For the Common Good: Public Breeding Programs Address the Needs of the Industry

Saturday, July 10  2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Description:  There are a myriad of private companies doing really outstanding work to develop and introduce plants that are new, beautiful, and exciting. But we should not overlook the work of academics who keep an eye toward the needs of the industry and use all the tools at their disposal to try to solve emerging and persistent issues. These programs are not there to compete with private industry. Rather, the goal is to compliment the strengths of the industry by addressing long-term problems or issues, such as tree breeding, for which the return on investment is sometimes decades in the future. This talk will highlight some of the work being done at public institutions from coast-to-coast and in between. 

Level: Fundamental       Type: Growing

Session Title:  How safe is safe enough? Buddleja as a test case for breeding for sterility

Monday, July 12  1:00 PM - 1:40 PM

Description:  We are a decade into the approval of cultivars following a ban on Buddleja davidii in Oregon. It has been great to see the development of cultivars that have markedly reduced fertility be allowed and hope to see more of this for butterfly bush and beyond. But are the approved cultivars all sterile and ecologically sound? What are reasonable expectations for “sterile” cultivars? What makes sense for breeders, growers, gardeners, and ecologists? 

Level: All Audiences        Type: Research


Ryan Contreras,

Associate Professor at Oregon State University 

Dr. Ryan Contreras is an Associate Professor of Ornamental Plant Breeding in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University where he teaches spring and fall woody landscape plant identification, plant growth & development, and plant propagation courses.  He established and directs the Ornamental Plant Breeding Program, which focuses on developing new cultivars of woody shrubs and trees with improved traits such as disease resistance, habit, fragrance, reduced fertility, and much more.  In attempting to support the nursery industry he has developed a diverse program that seeks to improve 33 genera – a number that continues to grow.  Recently his program released ‘Emerald Sprite’ and ‘Emerald Beauty’ cotoneasters, which are compact and fire blight resistant selections. His program’s development of large populations of triploid maples that have potential to be sterile promises to make a big impact on the long-term sustainability of the genus.  Regardless of the taxon, Ryan’s goal is for the breeding to directly support and enhance the success of growers, landscapers, and consumers.

Oregon State University Department of Horticulture.  
Grow healthy food and essential plants, design and create sustainable landscapes, and discover how plants improve people’s lives and livelihoods in the Department of Horticulture.

4017 Agriculture & Life Sciences Bldg, Corvallis, OR 97331
Email:    hortwebteam@oregonstate.edu    
Contact:   Ryan Contreras
Phone:    (541) 737-3695   FAX:  (541) 737-3479


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