calochortus palmeri

The Laboratory Studies program conducts research on the genetic composition of California plants. Excellent laboratory facilities (e.g., 3130xl genetic analyzer, electron and light microscopy, long-term ultracold storage) coupled with the expertise of Rancho staff enables the program to undertake projects requiring design, data collection and data analyses. Our goal is to provide objective, scientifically based information to government agencies and private organizations to aid in natural resource management.
The Laboratory Studies program provides the following services:

  • Cytogenetics
  • Genetic fingerprinting and detection of hybrids
  • Phylogenetics
  • Population genetics

Examples of Recent Projects:

Willowy Monardella (Monardella linoides subsp. viminea)
Willowy monardella is a species of mint endemic (restricted) to San Diego county and adjacent regions in Mexico. This species is closely related to Monardella linoides, also restricted to the southwestern US. RSABG collected DNA sequence data to help determine the relationship between willowy monardella and its closest relatives.

Peirson's Milkvetch (Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii)
Peirson's milkvetch is a Southern California/Sonora plant of very restricted distribution. We collected phylogenetic data (DNA sequence data) and population genetic data (ISSRs) to determine the relationship among the populations in southern California and the population in Mexico. We found Peirson's Milkvetch in California to be genetically distinct from the what was thought to be its close relative in Mexico.

For more information about laboratory studies at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden contact Loraine Washburn, Ph.D ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), Conservation Botanist