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Ryan N. Contreras and Mara W. Friddle

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Ryan N. Contreras, Ron Determann and Mara Friddle

There is a great deal of variation among japanese-cedar cultivars with regard to growth form, foliar characteristics, and winter browning. Differences in winter browning have been observed and documented by a number of authors. Previous research has established that there are differences in winter foliage color between cultivars included in the current study; however, no quantitative analysis under standardized conditions was conducted. Because of a previous report that tetraploid forms of japanese-cedar remain green during winter as a result of increased antioxidant enzyme activity, we hypothesized that cultivars that exhibit reduced winter browning were polyploids. We screened 56 accessions of japanese-cedar using flow cytometry analysis of 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-stained nuclei and performed chromosome counts on three cultivars. All accessions were diploid (2n = 2x = 22), although there were significant differences in genome sizes among the cultivars. Holoploid genome sizes ranged from 18.9 pg for var. sinensis JCRA to 22.3 pg for ‘Viridis’ with a mean of 20.1 pg. Chromosome counts for cultivars Ogon, Oye Keme, and Viridis supported the flow cytometry results. Although the underlying cause of the variability in morphology and winter browning among cultivars is unclear, our results show that differences in ploidy level are not responsible, because all tested genotypes were diploid. Chemical name: 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI).

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Joseph J. Rothleutner, Mara W. Friddle and Ryan N. Contreras

The genus Cotoneaster (Rosaceae, Maloideae) is highly diverse, containing ≈400 species. Like other maloids, there is a high frequency of naturally occurring polyploids within the genus, with most species being tetraploid or triploid. Apomixis is also prevalent and is associated with polyploidy. The objective of this study was to estimate genome sizes and infer ploidy levels for species that had not previously been investigated as well as compare estimates using two fluorochromes and determine base pair (bp) composition. Chromosome counts of seven species confirmed ploidy levels estimated from flow cytometric analysis of nuclei stained with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). Monoploid (1Cx) genome sizes ranged from 0.71 to 0.96 pg. Differences in monoploid genome size were not related to current taxonomic treatment, indicating that while chromosome sizes may vary among species, there are no clear differences related to subgeneric groups. A comparison of DAPI and propidium iodide (PI) showed a difference in DNA staining in Cotoneaster comparable to other rosaceous species. Base pair composition (AT%) in Cotoneaster ranged from 58.4% to 60.8%, which led to overestimation of genome size estimates in many cases—assuming the estimates of the DNA intercalator are accurate. Our findings will inform breeders with regard to the reproductive behavior of potential parents and may be used to confirm hybrids from interploid crosses.