As the climate changes, insects invade, deer populations skyrocket, and natural habitats shrink, the conservation of plant genetic diversity (germplasm) becomes critical in order to preserve ecosystems, prevent species extinction, and afford plant breeders the resources to create better plants and create beautiful landscapes. We will present a case study of the genus Prunus, following germplasm from collection and conservation to breeding and into the market place and landscape. We will explore fifty years of Arboretum breeding work. We will explore ongoing conservation efforts in Prunus in the context of procedural and legal challenges. Finally, we will present some of the genetic resources available to institutions. Participants will use their understanding of plant genetic resources and the contacts they make in this session to facilitate or develop efforts in germplasm collecting, use, conservation, and distribution in their own gardens.
This session is approved for 1.5 ISA credit hours.