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Hongmei Ma and Margaret Pooler

Ornamental flowering cherry trees (Prunus species) are popular landscape plants that are used in residential and commercial landscapes throughout most temperate regions of the world. Most of the flowering cherry trees planted in the United States represent relatively few species. The U.S. National Arboretum has an ongoing breeding program aimed at broadening this base by developing new cultivars of ornamental cherry with disease and pest resistance, tolerance to environmental stresses, and superior ornamental characteristics. Knowledge of the genetic relationships among species would be useful in breeding and germplasm conservation efforts. However, the taxonomy of flowering cherry species and cultivars is complicated by differences in ploidy levels and intercrossing among species. We have used simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers developed for other Prunus species to screen a diverse collection of over 200 ornamental cherry genotypes representing 70 taxa in order to determine the genetic relationships among species, cultivars, and accessions. Data were generated from 9–12 primer pairs using an automated DNA genetic analyzer (ABI3770), and subjected to UPGMA cluster analysis. Extremely high levels of polymorphism were exhibited among the materials studied, thus indicating that ornamental flowering cherry germplasm has substantial inherent genetic diversity. This information, combined with traditional morphological characteristics, will be useful in determining genetic relationships among accessions in our collection and for predicting crossability of taxa.

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Arthur Villordon, Wambui Njuguna, Simon Gichuki, Philip Ndolo, Heneriko Kulembeka, Simon C. Jeremiah, Don LaBonte, Bernard Yada, Phinehas Tukamuhabwa, and Robert O. M. Mwanga

Detailed information on the geographic distribution of a crop is important in planning efficient germplasm conservation strategies but is often not available, particularly for minor crops. Using germplasm collection data from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, we used distribution modeling to predict the distribution of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.)] in sub-Saharan Africa. We used a consensus modeling approach using the following algorithms: genetic algorithm for rule set prediction (GARP), maximum entropy, BIOCLIM, and DOMAIN. The predicted distribution encompasses known sweetpotato production areas as well as additional areas suited for this crop species. New geographic areas where at least three models predicted presence were in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, The Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, and the Central African Republic. This information can be used to fill gaps in current sweetpotato germplasm collections as well as to further enhance the current presence-only based distribution model. Our approach demonstrates the usefulness of considering several models in developing distribution maps.

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Xianqin Qiu, Hao Zhang, Hongying Jian, Qigang Wang, Ningning Zhou, Huijun Yan, Ting Zhang, and Kaixue Tang

Roses are one of the economically most important groups of ornamental plants. The internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA and the chloroplast gene matK were used to investigate the genetic diversity and genetic relationships among Rosa germplasm including 39 wild species, 21 old garden roses, and 29 modern cultivars. Three dendrograms based on ITS and matK clustering data indicated that 1) 39 wild genotypes were consistent with their classification into botanical sections with only a few exceptions; 2) most of the wild genotypes were separated from rose cultivars. However, three sections, Synstylae, Chinenses, and Rosa, that contributed to the modern roses generally gathered together with almost all old garden and modern roses on the molecular level; and 3) the relationships between cultivated roses as inferred by ITS and matK sequences do not correlate with horticultural groups. Results demonstrated that both sequence techniques can contribute to clarifying the genetic relationships of rose accessions and germplasm conservation to enhance the ornamental and economic value of rose.

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Tim Rinehart, Cecil Pounders, and Brian Scheffler

Crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia) are deciduous shrubs or trees with prolific summer flowers. Their popularity is due in large part to low maintenance requirements in sunny climates, wide range of growth habits, disease resistance, and bark characteristics, as well as having a long flowering period (up to 120 days). Once well-established, they are extremely tolerant to heat and drought. Lagerstroemia was first introduced to the southern U.S. from southeast Asia more than 150 years ago, and is comprised of at least 80 known species. Most modern cultivars are L. indica and L. fauriei hybrids. L. speciosa is a tropical crapemyrtle with very large flowers, but lacks cold hardiness. It is a vigorous plant, but only when grown in Hardiness zones 9 or 10. We recently established microsatellite markers for Lagerstroemia and evaluated their utility for verifying interspecific hybrids. Here we verify F1 hybrids between L. indica `Tonto', `Red River', and L. speciosa. We also genotyped two commercially available L. speciosa hybrids. Currently, we are using crapemyrtle SSRs for cultivar identification and germplasm conservation. Future research includes marker-assisted breeding to produce powdery mildew and flea beetle resistant cultivars, as well as improved growth habit and fall foliage color.

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Izulme R. Santos and Cecil Stushnoff

Economically, citrus is the second most-important fruit crop grown worldwide; thus germplasm conservation of commercial cultivars, as well as of wild relatives, is essential. Presently, citrus germplasm has been conserved mainly in field genebanks. This approach is helpful; however, it is costly, exposes germplasm to climatic and biological hazards, and is not a long-term conservation system. Cryopreservation (conservation in liquid nitrogen, at –150°C to –196°C) is a technique that can ensure long-term storage of plant material. Attempts to cryopreserve citrus are restricted to a few reports, but the results obtained are encouraging. The basic purpose of this study is to define cryopreservation protocols for embryo axes and axillary buds of `Pineapple' sweet orange using the encapsulation-dehydration method. Embryo axes encapsualted in Na-alginate beads, precultured with high levels of sucrose and dehydrated over silica gel before freezing in liquid nitrogen had 60% survival. No survival was obtained for buds treated the same way, however buds isolated from plants acclimated at 0°C over a 30-day period survived exposure to –20°C when slow cooled at 2°C/hour. Additional experiments will combine cold acclimation, slow cooling and pre-treatment with sugars and other chemical compounds as an attempt to enhance cold hardiness of axillary buds and obtain survival after freezing in liquid nitrogen. Different approaches will be used to increase embryo axes survival rates.

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Hyo-Won Seo, Jung-Yoon Yi, Eung-Soo Kim, Hyun-Mook Cho, Young-Eun Park, and Kuen-Woo Park

This study was carried out to prove the new variety's originality by using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) Analysis and to develope the specific markers for distinction new variety from others to database for improving the efficiency of germplasm conservation. The RAPD procedure was used to determine genetic diversity of 13 potato varieties including seven recommended varieties of Korea and six genotypes. Genomic DNAs from the 13 genotypes were amplified using PCR and URP 2F, 4R and 8R primers. URP primers which were 20-mers were received from NIAST (National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, Suwon, Korea) and they were shown very high reproducibility because of the high annealing temperature above 55 °C. So, they were known to be very desirable primers to examine the specificity between inter and intra species in various spectra. These 13 lines have many resemblances in plant characteristics each other because `Jopung', '92N09-6', `Daekwan 68', and `Daekwan 70' were originated from `Superior', `Atlantic', `Namsuh', and `Irish Cobbler' respectively. So, there are many difficulties to distinct new variety by the naked eye. The results of this study show that 2 sets of URP primers are very useful to distinct new variety and mutants from others.

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Juan J. Ruiz, Santiago García-Martínez, Belén Picó, Muquiang Gao, and Carlos F. Quiros

We studied the genetic variability of some traditional tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L. Mill.) cultivars of Spain, and established their relationships using both simple sequence repeats (SSR) and sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. These included cultivars from different locations of three main types, Muchamiel, De la pera, and Moruno. Additionally we tested two other local cultivars, `Valenciano' and `Flor de Baladre', plus a small sample of commercial cultivars and a few wild species. Both types of markers resolved the cultivars from different groups, but SSR failed to distinguish some of those classified under the same group. All the De la pera cultivars clustered together by genetic similarity with the SRAP markers. The other traditional cultivars, which are grown in a wider geographic range, formed a more diffuse group, which included the commercial cultivar Roma. The Mexican cultivar Zapotec, a breeding line, and the virus-resistant commercial hybrid `Anastasia' were the most distant of all the cultivars. The latter hybrid had higher similarity to the wild species due to introgressed segments from them carrying the resistance genes. Similar results were observed for SSR markers but with a lower level of resolution. This information would be useful to facilitate tomato germplasm conservation and management efforts.

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Jaume Prohens, José M. Blanca, and Fernando Nuez

Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) was introduced by the Arabs into Spain. Since then, many local cultivars have arisen. These materials are grouped in four cultivar groups: “round,” “semi-long,” “long,” and “listada de Gandía.” We studied the morphological and molecular [amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)] diversity of a collection of 28 Spanish traditional cultivars of eggplant. Four eggplant accessions from different origins were used as controls and three scarlet eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum L.) accessions as outgroups. Morphology and AFLP markers showed that S. melongena and S. aethiopicum are separate taxonomic entities, and that, compared to controls, Spanish eggplants are very variable, indicating that the Iberian Peninsula can be regarded as a secondary center of diversity. Morphological differences were found among cultivar groups in traits other than those used for the grouping although, in some cases, accessions from different cultivar groups shared a similar general morphology. Eggplant cultivar groups also showed some genetic differences, which are revealed in the gene diversity statistics (GST = 0.30). Nonetheless, no individual AFLP markers specific and universal to one cultivar group could be found. “Round” cultivars were genetically more diverse than the other cultivar groups. A positive correlation (r = 0.68) was found between morphological and molecular distances. However, correlations between geographical and either morphological or molecular distances were low. Results suggest that evolution of eggplants in Spain has involved frequent hybridizations and a frequent movement and exchange of seeds. Structure of diversity among regions indicates that most of the diversity can be collected in single selected regions. All these results have important implications in eggplant germplasm conservation and breeding.

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Yingmou Yao and Peter M.A. Tigerstedt

Genetic variation in growth rhythm, hardiness and height of 24 populations from 3 subspecies in sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) were studied in a field test. The relative variance component of subspecies varied from 26.2% to 73.7% of total variance. Subspecies turkestanica had a growth mode of late start-late finish, ssp. rhamnoides, intermediate start-early finish and ssp. sinensis, early start-intermediate finish. Subspecies rhamnoides had a growth period of 129 days, ≈30 days shorter than the two Asian subspecies. The average height of ssp. rhamnoides was 43.7 cm, about one-third of that for ssp. tarkestanica and sinensis. Subspecies rhamizoides was more hardy than ssp. sinensis, which was still more hardy than ssp. turkestanica. The variance among populations was generally comparable with within population variance. Except for hardiness, variations for all characters were much larger in ssp. rhamnoides than in ssp. sinensis. The total genetic variance (subspecies plus population) varied from 50% to 84% of total variance for all characters, except 37% for secondbracts. Later growth cessation was correlated with longer growth period, taller plants, more severe frost and winter damage. Strong clinal variation showed that the higher the latitude, the earlier the growth cessation, the shorter the growth period and plant height, the more hardy the population. -The results indicated that population selection should bean efficient way for growth rhythm and plant height. Clinal variation provides guidelines for seed and plant transfer as well as plant introduction. With limited collection and management capacity in germplasm conservation, the recommendation is to collect fewer individuals in each population but more populations along latitude.

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Daniel J. Cantliffe

hybrid seed production and plant germplasm conservation. The reader has an opportunity to get information, packed into 796 pages, in almost any area related to seeds. The contributing authors to Dr. Basra's book are excellent and well known for their