1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The primary objective of this work is to characterize and develop ornamental plant germplasm using molecular markers, ploidy manipulation, and in-vitro technologies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Select taxa of woody ornamental plants, including Cercis, Lagerstroemia, and Prunus, that have already been established in tissue culture, will be used to investigate ploidy manipulations that can be used to overcome crossing barriers and to develop seedless cultivars. In addition, unusual traits such as mutations or “sports”, will be investigated using molecular tools, and molecular markers will be used to characterize germplasm or hybrids.
Accessions of Prunus (flowering cherry), crapemyrtle, and catalpa were established in-vitro and exposed to oryzalin to double chromosomes. These treatments resulted in tetraploid plants in each taxa studied. SSR markers were used to verify approximately 50 interspecific hybrids that were created as part of the flowering cherry breeding program. Studies continued on elucidating the cause of mutants or “sports” in several genotypes of dwarf crapemyrtle.