COMPREHENSIVE COLLECTION OF FOTHERGILLA SPP. FOR CONSERVATION, IMPROVEMENT, AND PHYLOGENETIC STUDY
Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
Project Number: 1230-21000-053-06
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2013
To establish a comprehensive germplasm collection for long-term ex situ conservation and utilization to be maintained at the Mt. Cuba Center, the Wood Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository (WLPGR) and USDA GRIN system, and shared with public gardens and commercial nurseries. To complete a taxonomic/systematic assessment of Fothergilla including molecular, cytogenetic, morphological, and ecological approaches. This germplasm collection will provide a valuable resource for plant breeders and commercial nurseries for further selection and improvement of Fothergilla. These efforts will also help elucidate the diversity and evolutionary relationships among species within Fothergilla, providing essential data to help guide future conservation efforts. On a broader scale, this study will provide further insights into the phytogeographic patterns and history of Southeastern flora.
Accessions from across the known range of Fothergilla in the Southeatern U.S., will be collected and propagated, vouched with herbarium specimens, and analyzed using flow cytometry and genomic genotyping (next-generation RAD-tag sequencing). Germplasm will be grown in experimental plots at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center (MHCREC), NC State University, Mills River, NC for phenological and morphological evaluations. At the completion of the project, accessions and appropriate data will be transferred to the WLPGR for entry into GRIN.