NY523 - Varietal Improvement of Indoor Plants by Selection to Withstand Stresses of the Indoor Environment

Our indoor environments may be more polluted than the outdoors, with over 250 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) having been identified in indoor atmospheres. Although these are present only in trace amounts, it now seems that ‘sick-building syndrome’ is more the result of exposure to cocktails of chemicals, than to micro-organisms circulating in the air conditioning. This project investigated the ability of some common ‘international’ indoor plant species to absorb VOCs, and assessed their stress responses following exposure to the hazardous chemicals. The information will be used to improve plant varieties to allow them to absorb more VOCs and better survive in the indoor environment.