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  • Author or Editor: David L. Kidwell-Slak x
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The redbud (Cercis L. species) is a popular landscape plant grown widely in the United States. There are more than 20 cultivars of eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) and at least three cultivars of Asian taxa (primarily Cercis chinensis Bunge) in the trade. The U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) has a diverse collection of Cercis germplasm collected in North America and Asia. Fourteen genomic simple sequence repeat (genomic-SSR) markers were used to analyze the genetic diversity of 53 accessions of Asian Cercis taxa from our collection, including C. chinensis, Cercis chingii Chun, Cercis gigantea ined., Cercis glabra Pamp., Cercis racemosa Oliv., and Cercis yunnanensis Hu and W. C. Cheng. SSR markers detected an average of 5.7 alleles per locus with a range of two to nine alleles. A dendrogram was generated by unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) cluster analysis using the Jaccard similarity coefficient. Four major clusters were identified. Accessions tended to group by taxa or provenance, but with some notable exceptions caused either by misidentification or nomenclatural confusion in the species. This information will be used for collection management and for making decisions in the breeding program to maximize genetic diversity of cultivated Cercis.

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