Safeguarding Plant Collections by comparing ex situ and wild populations

We are quantifying the number of plants and seeds needed to best preserve genetic variation of 10 species of threatened trees in botanical gardens, which  will be models for future seed collections.

The collaborators on the project at the Morton Arboretum


We are working with a large collaborative group on an IMLS funded project to improve the conservation value of the trees we keep in our collection, specifically to make sure that we retain enough genetic variation in our collections to ensure species survival. We will be collecting from wild populations of 10 species and comparing the genetic diversity in the wild to what we have conserved in our gardens, using DNA markers. The results of this study will help develop new guidelines for sampling for conservation, including the number of seeds and populations to collect.

Funding Sources

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Project Status