Services & Activities

Reduced failures and increased predictability

I. Pollen and cell analysis

Pollinations often fails due to sub-optimal growth conditions (including pesticide treatment), genetic defects, or sub-optimal treatment of stored pollen. Pollen and cell analysis is  performed as an analytical service.

The types of pollen and cell analysis are:

  1. Viability analysis (Application examples 1-3)
  2. Pollen germination (Application example 4)
  3. Combination of viability analysis and germination
  4. Analysis of other cells (Application example 5)

Please contact Acepo before chipping any material because certain pollen or cell types have to be packed and send in a specific way. Samples should be labelled clearly and send along with the samples submission form to Acepo. The measurement results are summarized in a result form and returned to the customer. If necessary results are discussed and advice can be given by Acepo.

Below an overview of routinely analysed species. For species that are not listed, yet, please don’t hesitate to contact Acepo for more information.


Overview routinely analysed species

Plant familySpeciesCommon name
BrassicaceaeBrassica speciesCabbage family
Raphanus sativusRadish
ChenopodiaceaeBeta speciesBeet family
Spinacia oleraceaSpinach
CucurbitaceaeCucumis meloMelon
Cucumis sativusCucumber
HypericaceaeHypericumSt. John's wort
LaminariaceaeSaccharina latissimaSugarkelp
LiliaceaeAllium speciesOnion family
Iris speciesIris family
CypripediumLady slipper
PhalaenopsisMoth orchid
PoaceaeTriticum aestivumWheat
Zea maysCorn
Primula speciesPrim rose
RanunculaceaeHelloborusChristmas rose
RosaceaeMalus speciesApple family
Rosa speciesRose family
SolanaceaeCapsicum speciesPepper family
Lycopersicon speciesTomato family
Solanum melongenaEggplant
Solanum tuberosumPotato

II. Research and Development (R&D)

Research and development (R&D) projects can be executed or supervised by Acepo. Examples of R&D projects are:

  • set-up or optimization of pollen analysis or storage protocols,
  • plant regeneration systems and doubled haploid (DH) techniques
  • mutagenesis approaches including new breeding techniques such as CRISPR/cas.

Pollen quality and storage

Next to the pollen quality analysis Acepo offers to review current processes, discuss critical steps with the customer, and suggests improvements.

Plant regeneration systems & Doubled haploid (DH) techniques

Plants have the unique capacity to form a new plant form any part of their body, including single cells. Isolated, cell wall-free plants cells (protoplasts) can be used for mass propagation, fusions, or the introduction of small DNA molecules as needed for the application of new breeding techniques. Under the right conditions, protoplasts form first a mass of undifferentiated cells (callus) that can be induced by plant growth regulators to shoot formation.

Homozygous parental lines are the essence of F1 hybrids. Homozygocity can be achieved through inbreeding (self-pollinations) over several generations or through specifc embryo induction from reproductive organs like unripe pollen grains (androgenesis) or unfertilised egg cells (gynogenesis).

The development and application plant regeneration systems and  doubled haploid techniques are usually executed in a plant cell biology labroatory. Acepo offeres to execute or supervise the development and/or improvements of plant regeneration systems and DH technology, including laboratory organisation, and to highlight consequences for the breeding process.

Mutagenesis and New Breeding Techniques (NBT)

Irradiation and chemical mutagenesis (mainly EMS) applied to vegetative plants parts, pollen or seeds are the most common methods to broaded genetic variation when the natural one is limited. The use of zinc finger nucleases (ZNF), TALENs, CRISPR/cas, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM), and cisgenesis in breeding are considered as NBT and allow more precise changes of the genome (gene editing) than irradition or EMS. Hoewever, next to the fact that NBT-products are currently regarded as genetically modified organisms (GMO) in most European countries, their technical success highly depends on the introduction of the editing tool into the cell and the regeneration of the edited plant.

Through the advanced sequencing techniques and bioinformatic tools it is nowadays relatively easy and quick to obtain sequence data from any species. Developing a transformation and regeneration systems for a specific species required expert knowledge, skills, experience, and time.

Acepo has a strong background in plant cell biology, especially protoplast regeneration isolation, regeneration, and transformation technologies in various species, experience in selection strategies, and molecular biology. Acepo offers to set up, execute or supervise mutagenesis and/or NBT systems.



Terms and conditions

The standard steps for R&D projects performed by Acepo are:

  1. signed mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
  2. signed consultancy agreement (CA)
  3. project proposal and planning.

R&D projects are preferentially executed in the premisses of the customer ensuring that the technique works with own material under their own conditions. By this approach follow-ups such as implementation, large scale production, or analysis are easier to integrate into daily routine or production processes.

For pilot productions and experiments concerning “half material” as deliverable, please contact Acepo to discuss possibilities.

Plant transformation and regeneration protocols can be established, too, but the laboratory of the customer should hold all GMO-licences and meets all governmental GMO-requirements.

III. Implementation and Education (I&E)

During the execution of a R&D project, the customer or its employees can already be trained by Acepo to get used to new techniques or changes within a process leading to a smooth implementation of new or revised protocols.

Published protocols are not always easily implemented at the customers environment. Acepo offers assistance and advise durng the implementation and early production phase of literature-based protocols.

Acepo offers further customer-specific theoretical and practical workshops on site. These workshops can vary from medium preparation and sterilisation, plant disinfection, function of plant growth regulators, to pollen quality analysis and application, single cell isolation (protoplast and microspore), plant transformation and regeneration.

Ordering information

Anyone is interested having a pollen analysis performed on his/her material should contact Acepo to specify the questions that need to be answered. For R&D or I&E projects Acepo should be contacted for more information and possibilities.

Terms & conditions