Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2005
Publication Date: December 1, 2005
Citation: Rinehart, T.A., Scheffler, B.E., Reed, S.M. 2005. Estimating Genetic Diversity within the Hydrangea Genus Using Molecular Markers. Southern Nursery Association Research Conference. pp. 656-659. Interpretive Summary: Hydrangeas are the fourth top selling deciduous flowering shrub with sales in excess of 32 million dollars a year. Recent escalation in consumer demand is likely due to the national marketing campaign for remontant (reblooming) H. macrophylla cultivars such as Endless Summer™ (‘Bailmer’). The goal of our molecular breeding program is to keep consumers coming back by combining performance traits, including reblooming, with disease resistance and the wide array of ornamental flowers and foliage found within the Hydrangea genus.
Technical Abstract: Here we establish molecular markers for breeding hydrangeas. Genetic diversity estimates indicate that Hydrangea macrophylla, H. serrata, H. luteovenosa, H. lobbii, H. angustipetala and Dichroa febrifuga are closely related and should be tested for interspecific hybridization. We demonstrate the utility of SSR markers in verifying inter-specific hybrids and identifying mislabeled plants in the trade.