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Jiffinvir Khosa, Robyn Lee, Srishti Joshi, Martin Shaw, John McCallum and Richard Macknight

Bulb onion (Allium cepa L.) is a challenging subject for experimental studies because of its slow growth, genetic heterogeneity, and sensitivity to environmental and biotic stresses. Sharing of common germplasm and controlled propagation practices has underpinned research on model plants, such as Arabidopsis and tomato, but not in onion. To encourage wider evaluation of onion for physiological and molecular studies in controlled environments, we describe the growing practices we have developed over two decades of research on adaptive and nutrient assimilation traits. Key aspects covered include choice of germplasm, propagation media, nutrition, and environmental control. Adopting common onion genetics and cultivation techniques across laboratories will allow researchers to answer deeper research questions and increase the reproducibility of the research.