A research base

The collection as a research base

Given the multitude of varieties in the collection and the Roseraie’s highly specific cultivation conditions (high-density monoculture, over a long period of time), the Roseraie represents a particularly interesting resource for research.

On this account, several studies have been carried out in recent years, as much in the field of horticulture as in that of botany.

 

The study carried out by Professor Jay’s laboratory at the University of Microbiology and Phytochemistry at Lyon, at the behest of the County of Val-de-Marne, between 1994 and 1997 demonstrated the advantages offered by new biochemical methods, for refining our knowledge about rose varieties and the sequential history of their creation.

Three physico-chemical methods were employed :

- spectrocolorimetry : for the physical study of flower colour,

- electrophoresis : to analyse molecular markers with a view to characterising the varieties,

- chromatography : chemical analysis of pigment markers which give rise to flower colour.

This study covered 400 old varieties, representative of the varietal selection work carried out by plant breeders since the beginning of the 19th century.

 

The study allocated to the GEVES at Beaucouze in 1994 concentrated on methods used to determine levels of ploidy of rose varieties, in terms of both efficacy and reliability. The ploidy level turns out to be a very useful complementary criterion for the identification of varieties.

 

The Roseraie has also been used as a resource for research into rose pollen, in a study led by the Natural History Museum in 1991. Pollen from different varieties has a unique genetic imprint, rather like a fingerprint and is thus very useful as a discriminating factor in characterising a variety.

 

On the horticultural side, and given the difficulties experienced in cultivating certain beds, a study aimed at understanding the phenomenon of soil fatigue was led by the consulting laboratory "Chlorophyl’Assistance” from 1995 to 1997. This study highlighted the multiplicity of factors responsible for this phenomenon.

 

The colloquium “Scientific and technical advances in the genus Rosa” organised, in cooperation with the Friends of the Roseraie Association, during the Roseraie’s centenary year in 1994, provided an opportunity to examine scientific and technical progress.