The American Dahlia Society (ADS) is currently working to sequence the dahlia genome. ADS is funding the the RNA sequencing of 15 species dahlias and 8 modern day dahlias. ADS has raised $52,000 from 55 donors in 17 states and Canada for this project. As of October 2018, leaf samples taken from 23 dahlia plants are being sequenced.
At the start of the project, ADS raised the needed funds and collected seed from species dahlias in Mexico where all dahlias originated. Dr. Virginia Walbot of Sanford University is the lead scientist for the project and gave pro bono time to two trips to Mexico in late 2017 to collect species seeds in the wild. Seeds from these trips were grown into plants by Dr. Walbot and ADS members and leaf samples were taken in late August 2018. In addition plant material was also sampled from species dahlias grown by ADS members in the Seattle area.
The data from the leaf samples of the 15 species dahlias will allow us to re-organize the phylogenetic tree (the family tree). The current phylogenetic tree is based on very limited genetic data. We can next determine if modern dahlias are derived directly from one of the species we have collected. With the inclusion of 11 modern dahlias, we can determine if all modern dahlias have the same origin and to determine if some “floral” types are more diverse than others.
The list of modern dahlias that are being sequenced are: Jomanda, Mexico, Apopa Gold, Eden Benary, Rhonda, Thomas Edison, Emory Paul, Pam Howden, Rio Riata, Edna C, and Comet.
Genome Information Tri-fold (pdf file). View (and print if desired).
Timeline for the project.
Poster of some of the species dahlias that were grown out in ADS members gardens from the seeds Dr. Walbot and other professors collected in Mexico.
If you are interested in helping fund this project give your gift today. Please indicate on your check or donation that you would like to fund the genome project. Please show your support and give a gift. Send your donation to:
ADS Genome Project
38430 Piggot Bottom Road
Hamilton, VA 20158
or donate via Paypal:
ADS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.