Previous Projects

Research activities at the OPGC have centered on optimization on germplasm-related activities involving seeds, pollinators, and genotyping for identification of core collections. Investigations have also been conducted on improved growing conditions for selected crops such as Begonia.

Below are listed some of the research activity the OPGC has been involved with over the past few years:

  1. Genome size and ploidy in the germplasm collection

    An extensive survey was done of the genome size in the germplasm available for Coreopsis, Phlox and Rudbeckia, to examine the pattern of cytotype variation within each species and determine the natural occurrence of polyploids in these plants.

    Zale, P. and P. Jourdan (2015) Genome size and ploidy of Phlox paniculata and related germplasm in subsections Paniculatae and Phlox. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 140:436-448.

  2. Flower color and pigment composition in Phlox

    An analysis of the color and anthocyanidin composition of Phlox flowers was undertaken to understand the relationship between the color perceived and the underlying pigment composition.  This project was part of Mr. Andres Bhorques Restrepo Masters thesis.  Flowers were scanned and the color pattern analyzed with Tomato Analyzer software.  Anthocyanidin pigments were then extracted and correlated with particular colors.

  3. Lepidopteran pollinators for Phlox

    Phlox species are not pollinated by bees.  Seed production in our accessions of Phlox require the availability of butterflies in order to achieve pollination under controlled conditions.  Since butterflies cannot be readily purchase for use, we investigated protocols to rear and deploy cabbage white butteflies and American painted ladies to achieve pollination.  We were successful in rearing the butterflies, although it was a challenging activity, but we encountered difficulties in the production and harvesting of Phlox seed.

  4. Seed production in begonia species associated with the development of common cultivated forms.

    The Begonia collection at the OPGC consists primarily of clonal plants.  However, various accessions have produced seed and a concerted effort has been made to generate seed of as many accessions as possible.  In an effort to understand more about the seed biology of Begonia, and its potential for long-term storage, a series of studies were undertaken to characterize the seed in terms of germination requirements and accelerated aging.  This project has been part of Steven Haba's Masters thesis.

  5. Field characterization of Rudbeckia and Coreopsis germplasm

    The germplasm collection of both Coreopsis and Rudbeckia has been grown in the field and observations on its various characteristics have been recorded.  In addition, a survey of genome size in the various accessions was also undertaken to describe the ploidy characteristic of the different species and cultivars.