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Research

Plant Systematics and Biodiversity

Paperbark Maple Genetic Diversity

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This project seeks to understand two key factors:

  • How many times the popular Chinese paperbark maple (Acer griseum, Aceraceae) has been introduced into the United States and Great Britain.
  • How much of the species’ genetic diversity is preserved in arboretum and botanical garden collections. 

The project uses next-generation sequencing methods to trace the history of introductions of the species to the United States and Great Britain. In collaboration with colleagues at Morris Arboretum, Arnold Arboretum, and Beijing Botanic Garden, we are also sampling both cultivated and wild populations (targeting the Qinling Mountains in Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Henan) to understand how adequately the plants in cultivation represent the native genetic diversity of the species. 

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