Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 7, 2004
Publication Date: October 7, 2004
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Rinehart, T.A. 2004. Usda crapemyrtle breeding program in poplarville, mississippi. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Since 1962, scientists at the National Arboretum have been breeding crapemyrtles. Originally, breeding focused on improving disease resistance within Lagerstroemia indica, the most common species found in the US. This species was originally native to China and Korea but was naturalized in US gardens over a century ago. Lagerstroemia fauriei, native to Japan, was acquired in the 1950s and hybrids between the two species showed improved cold-hardiness, disease resistance, and an unusual cinnamon color in the bark. Our research, in conjunction with scientists at the National Arboretum, builds on the tradition of hybrid selection but includes new molecular genetic technologies. We recently determined the genome size and are working to produce sterile, triploid plants with increased flowers production and polyploidy plants with enhanced ornamental characters. Diversity of the two original species, their respective genetic contributions to known cultivars, as well the genetic diversity of tropical crapemyrtles and the patented miniature weeping crapemyrtles used in pots and ground covers will be determined. We established mapping populations and a high-throughput molecular marker program using SSRs for marker-assisted breeding, linkage mapping, and gene discovery. Specifically, we are interested in the genetic origin and molecular mechanism for powdery mildew resistance, flea beetle resistance, and leaf spot resistance.