VEGETABLE AND ORNAMENTAL RESEARCH IN THE GULF SOUTH
Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Title: CULTIVAR IDENTIFICATION AND INTERSPECIFIC HYBRID VERIFICATION IN LAGERSTROEMIA USING SSR MARKERS
Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2005
Publication Date: January 14, 2006
Citation: Rinehart, T.A., Pounders Jr, C.T., Scheffler, B.E. 2006. Cultivar identification and interspecific hybrid verification in lagerstroemia using ssr markers. Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference.
Crapemyrtles are a popular woody ornamental flowering shrub or small tree throughout southeastern US landscapes. The wide assortment of inflorescence colors, forms and sizes, coupled with a rather long flowering period (up to 120 days) have given rise to the popularity of this genus. Varieties with a broad range of plant sizes (from miniature 1 meter shrubs to +10 m tall trees), growth habits (broad, upright, weeping), cold hardiness (Zones 6-10), disease resistance (powdery mildew) and a range of bark characteristics and foliage fall colorations have been produced by breeding programs over the last 30 years. Lagerstroemia is one of the approximately 31 genera composing the Lythraceae family (Order: Myrtales). There are approximately eighty (80) species in the Lagerstroemia genus, native to SE Asia, but most are valued for commercial timber and medicinal uses and are unknown to gardeners and horticulturists. L. indica, L. fauriei, L. speciosa and L. subcostata have been employed as ornamental plants, but only the first two have been extensively used in the breeding, selection, and development of modern commercial cultivars. Many of the cultivars available today can be traced to L. indica and L. fauriei hybrids. We recently developed SSR markers for cultivar identification, hybrid verification, and marker assisted breeding. Here we demonstrate the utility of these markers by verifying interspecific crosses between L. indica, L. fauriei, and L. speciosa. Future research includes linkage mapping and gene discovery, particularly with respect to metallic flea beetle resistance.