Fiber Flax Breeding in China and Europe

Yu Fu Wang, Zofija Jankauskiene, Cai Sheng Qiu, Elvyra Gruzdeviene, Song Hua Long, Efthymia Alexopoulou, Yuan Guo, Jan Szopa, Dong Mei Hao, Ana Luisa Fernando, Hui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In Western Europe fiber flax breeding was started in the Netherlands in 1816, and pedigree selection was introduced in 1900 in the Netherlands also. Therefore, the commercial breeding of fiber flax started at the end of the 19th century. Flax breeding in other European countries started in the early 20th century. Before Western European variety became available, European varieties seeds were imported from Russia. In China, breeding work on fiber flax began at 1950s. After the end of the 20th century, flax breeding technologies developed more rapidly. The flax breeding methods now include hybridization, induced mutation, interspecific hybridization, utilization of male-sterility, ploidy breeding, tissue culture, gene transformation, marker assisted selection, etc. Despite of new breeding methods, the cross breeding is still the main breeding method for fiber flax. The history of flax breeding, germplasm collection, breeding goals, breeding programs, breeding methods, and new varieties are presented in the article. Some problems about flax breeding were analyzed, and some suggestions were presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-324
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Natural Fibers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018


  • Breeding goals and methods
  • China
  • Europe
  • fiber flax
  • germplasm
  • variety


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