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William G. Hembree, Thomas G. Ranney, Brian E. Jackson and Mark Weathington

Camellia L., the most speciose member of the diverse tea family Theaceae, has a long and complex horticultural history. Extensive cultivation and hybridization have produced thousands of varieties of Camellia, including commercially important crops such as cultivated tea, oilseed, and iconic flowering shrubs. Cytogenetics of Camellia and related genera is complicated; chromosome number and ploidy can vary widely between species, and interspecific and interploid hybridization occurs. However, specific information regarding cytogenetics of many species, cultivars, and modern hybrids is lacking. The objectives of this study were to compile a consolidated literature review of the cytogenetics of Camellia and related genera and to determine chromosome numbers, ploidy, and genome sizes of specific accessions of selected species, cultivars, and interspecific and interploid hybrids. A review of the existing literature regarding Theaceae cytogenetics is presented as a consolidated reference comprising 362 taxa. Genome sizes were determined with flow cytometry using propidium iodide as a fluorochrome and Pisum sativum ‘Ctirad' and Magnolia virginiana ‘Jim Wilson’ as internal standards. Chromosome numbers of selected taxa were determined using traditional cytology and were used to calibrate genome sizes with ploidy level. Our results confirmed a base chromosome number of x = 15 for Theeae including Camellia, x = 17 for Stewartiae, and x = 18 for Gordoniae. Surveyed camellias ranged from 2n = 2x = 30 to 2n = 8x = 120, including diploids, triploids, tetraploids, pentaploids, hexaploids, and octoploids. Previously uncharacterized taxa such as Camellia azalea, C. amplexicaulis, C. chrysanthoides, C. cordifolia, C. cucphuongensis, C. flava, C. nanyongensis, and C. trichoclada were found to be diploid. Ploidy was also newly determined for Schima argentea, S. khasiana, S. remotiserrata, and S. sinensis (all diploids). Both diploid and triploid Stewartia ovata were found, and a ploidy series was discovered for Polyspora that ranged from diploid to octoploid. Ploidy determinations were used to confirm or challenge the validity of putative interploid hybrids. Monoploid genome sizes varied among subfamily and genera, with 1Cx values ranging from 0.80 pg for Franklinia to a mean of 3.13 pg for Camellia, demonstrating differential rates of genome expansion independent of ploidy. Within Camellia, monoploid genome sizes varied among subgenera, sections, and some species (range, 2.70–3.55 pg). This study provides a consolidated and expanded knowledgebase of ploidy, genome sizes, hybridity, and reproductive pathways for specific accessions of Camellia and related genera that will enhance opportunities and strategies for future breeding and improvement within Theaceae.

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William G. Hembree, Thomas G. Ranney, Nathan P. Lynch and Brian E. Jackson

The genus Deutzia, in the Hydrangeaceae family, includes ≈60 species that range in ploidy from diploid (2x) to tetradecaploid (14x). There have been extensive breeding efforts for Deutzia, but this has been limited to a few parental species. Although there have been numerous studies of the cytogenetics of some species of Deutzia, the ploidy level of many species remains unknown, and there are few cytogenetic data available for Deutzia hybrids and cultivars. The purpose of this study was to validate the identification and determine the genome sizes and ploidy of a diverse collection of Deutzia species and hybrids using cytology and flow cytometry. Accessions were identified using the most current taxonomic key and voucher specimens were deposited for each at the North Carolina State University herbarium. Corrected and updated species names are provided for all cultivars and accessions studied. Traditional cytology was performed for roots of representative taxa to calibrate the genome size with the ploidy level. The genome size and estimated ploidy were determined for 43 accessions using flow cytometry. Ploidy levels were reported for the first time for three species of Deutzia including D. calycosa (2n = 4x = 52), D. paniculata (2n = 4x = 52), and D. glauca (2n = 12x = 156). The base and monoploid genome size (1Cx) were somewhat variable and ranged from 1.20 to 2.05 pg. No anisoploid hybrids were documented, suggesting the presence of an interploid block. The information produced from this study are beneficial to future curation, research, development, and improvement of this genus with corrected nomenclature and clone-specific data regarding cytogenetics.