Genetic Profiling of Red-Bracted Cornus kousa Cultivars Indicates Significant Cultivar Synonomy

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4560

Cornus kousa Hance (Korean or kousa dogwood) cultivars are increasingly used as landscape plants because they lack the disease and insect problems typically associated with the native C. florida L. (flowering dogwood). A number of red-bracted kousa dogwood cultivars are now available and several are phenotypically indistinguishable from one another. Plants of six cultivars obtained from three nurseries were characterized genetically using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) amplification fingerprinting (DAF) and arbitrary signatures from amplification profiles (ASAP). DAF profiles of three red-bracted cultivars—`Rosabella', `Satomi' and `Heart Throb'—were nearly identical. ASAP also failed to clearly differentiate these cultivars and indicated consistent genetic similarities. In contrast, another red-bracted cultivar `Christian Prince' and two white-bracted cultivars—`Little Beauty' and `Samaritan'—were identified and separated from all other cultivars by both DAF and ASAP techniques.

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