Published January 12, 2022 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Genetic and fitness measurements of Brighamia accessions for APPS

  • 1. Chicago Botanic Garden*
  • 2. National Tropical Botanical Garden
  • 3. Northwestern University


Premise of the study: Living collections maintained for generations are at risk of diversity loss, inbreeding, and adaptation to cultivation. To address these concerns the zoo community uses pedigrees to track individuals and implement crosses that maximize founder contributions and minimize inbreeding. Using a pedigree management approach in an exceptional plant, we demonstrate how conducting such strategic crosses can minimize genetic issues that have arisen under current practices.

Methods: We performed crosses between these collections and compared the fitness of progeny, including plant performance and reproductive health. We genotyped the progeny and paternal accessions to measure changes in diversity and relatedness within and between accessions.

Results: The mean relatedness among individuals of an accession, suggests they are full siblings. As a result there was high inbreeding and low diversity within an accession, although less so among accessions. Progeny from the wider crosses had increased genetic diversity, while selfed accessions were smaller and less fertile.

Discussion: Institutions which hold exceptional species should consider how diversity is maintained within their collections. Implementing a pedigree-based approach to managing reproduction of ex situ plants will slow the inevitable loss of genetic diversity and in turn, result in healthier collections.


Ready to be used in genalex.

Funding provided by: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: MG-30-16-0085-16

Funding provided by: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: MG-60-19-0064-19

Funding provided by: National Geographic Society
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: NGS-57037C-19



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