Tree breeding and improvement

Introduced diseases affect the health of our trees and shrubs, and breeders are always seeking to find new sources of resistance.

Genome size and ploidy surveys contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge related to the plant kingdom and can be used by plant breeders to develop breeding objectives.

A breeding population with genetic diversity is necessary for developing new plants with novel characters.  Some plants can become weedy when introduced to a landscape, and reducing fertility can mitigate this effect.

Polyploid induction is a method used by breeders to develop parents that can be used to create plants that are sterile, reblooming, or have improved aesthetics through interploidy hybridization.

Bringing new, beautiful, and resilient tree and shrub varieties to market requires understanding how many sets of chromosomes species possess.  This project explores the poorly understood genome size and ploidy of the genus Styrax (snowbells), a respected but uncommonly cultivated group of trees and shrubs.