Road trips for redbuds; An assessment of the genetic diversity and spatial distribution of Cercis canadensis in the US

In her other study, Meher Ony collected and analyzed MANY samples of Eastern Redbud across the species native range in the U.S.

We applied robust sampling and genotyping with previously developed gSSRs, and downstream population genetics approach. We discovered presence of population structure, high genetic diversity, and moderate genetic differentiation between two major clusters of C. canadensis in the Southern Appalachia. The conclusion is, the species was able to maintain high levels of genetic diversity and spatial genetic structure, despite habitat fragmentation. Results of this study have implications for habitat management efforts and future breeding programs to improve desirable horticultural traits.