Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 13, 2010
Publication Date: January 10, 2011
Citation: Rinehart, T.A., Scheffler, B.E., Trigiano, R., Pooler, M.R. 2011. DNA Fingerprinting Eastern Redbud Cultivars (Cercis canadensis) Using SSR Markers. Southern Nursery Association Research Conference. 55:40-45. Interpretive Summary: Eastern redbuds are popular ornamental trees because of their small size, showy spring bloom, heart-shaped glossy leaves, and adaptability to diverse environmental conditions. At least twelve cultivars of redbud have been introduced in the past decade with variations in foliage, flower color, or plant habit. We developed SSR markers for Cercis canadensis and used them to analyze 25 eastern redbud cultivars. Markers successfully differentiated among all the cultivars tested except where plants were derived from sport mutations. We are currently investigating the genetic relationship between C. canadensis cultivars, breeding germplasm, and wild-collected populations.
Technical Abstract: In this study we present data for a subset of SSR loci, 76 out of the 130 high-quality loci, which were selected out of hundreds of SSR loci identified from a SSR-enriched library. SSR markers are abundant in eukaryotic genomes and are highly reproducible. Previously, we have used SSR markers to estimate genetic diversity, identify cultivars, and verify parentage of woody ornamental plants. The 25 samples in this study do not include all commercially available germplasm but represent a broad cross-section of material in the trade including recently released cultivars. Our objective is to show reproducible DNA fingerprints for cultivars, establish unambiguous identification where possible, and verify limitations. This research is part of a larger program designed to assess genetic diversity of redbud throughout the southeastern U.S., accelerate redbud breeding, and provide genetic tools for cultivar identification.