US National Arboretum


Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

Dr. Mark Roh

Research Horticulturist
{Beltsville, MD}

Benefits and Risks of Using Waste Foundry Sand for Agricultural and Horticultural Applications

Each year, foundries in the U.S. landfill several million tons of waste sand that can no longer be used to make metal casting molds and cores. These waste foundry sands are potentially useful as a soil amendment and ingredient in manufactured soils; however, potentially harmful organics and trace metals in the sands may adversely impact the health of humans and the environment. The objective of this project is to ensure that waste foundry sands can be safely used in manufactured soils and related applications.

A new component is added to the CRIS to understand how plant growth and development will be affected in pots converted from feather keratin. Growth and flowering responses, and any adverse effects using feather keratin was evaluated with floral crops that include Begoniai in 4- inch pots and woody plants that include Halesia and Hydrangea in one gallon pots. The assignment to this CRIS Project Plan has been completed. Among 5 biobased plastic resigns, pellet 45 was considered suitable pellets to prepare pots and pots were used successfully used to produce quality plants if nitrogen is constantly available to the optimum level. Although extra nitrogen can be available from pellet 29 and pellet 32, plant growth in both begonia and hybrid lily has been inhibited and net photosynthesis became even negative, perhaps due to a lack of grana formation. Two manuscripts have been published reporting the physical and chemical nature of pellets and growth, flowering, and foliar tissue analysis of begonia and lily.

Genetic Resources, Evaluation, and Information Management of Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm

Specific goals for research component on woody landscape plant germplasm repository (WLPGR) are: 1) Develop monitoring methods and assay the viability of stored germplasm such as Cornus, Tsuga and other genera; 2) to characterize, identify, and study genetic diversity of Acer, Halesia, Abies, and other woody ornamental plants using molecular markers and genetic purity of ex situ preserved germplasm such as Corylopsis.

1) Viability study of Cornus florida and Tsuga chinensis seeds that were stored at the WLPGR has been completed by actual germination test and X-ray images analysis. Due to a limited number of seeds, further experiment with those accessions will not be continued. Seed germination and X-ray images of Corylopsis suggests that there is high correlation between germination and images. However, no correlation in Cornus and Tsuga was found, thus requiring actual seed germination test.

2). Hydrangea and Schizophragma are popular horticultural and ornamental plants. This study was designed to identify unknown accessions of Hydrangeaceae that have leaf morphological characters different from H. anomala subsp. petiolaris and Schizophragma hydrangeoides in Jeju, Korea. A total of 29 accessions of Hydrangea and Schizophragma from the wild were collected and analyzed using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit (rbcL) gene. Morphological characteristics of leaves and shoot apices of several accessions were also examined. Based on the RAPD markers, SNPs of the (rbcL) gene, and morphological characteristics, the unknown accessions were identified as H. anomala var. petiolaris.

3) This study identified Forsythia germplasm and evaluated the genetic relationships of F. ×intermedia hybrids, cultivars and their putative parental species. Leaf samples of F. ×intermedia cultivars and species, such as F. koreana and F. suspensa, were collected in the Netherlands, Korea, and USA. Total genomic DNA was extracted and evaluated by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. Dendrograms were constructed using the neighbor-joining (NJ) tree-building method applying the interior branch (IB) test or analyzed by STRUCTURE. In the dendrogram generated by RAPD markers two major clusters were observed; One cluster (CL-I) contained most of the F. ×intermedia cultivars, F. suspensa, and F. koreana. The other cluster (CL-II) included F. europaea, F. ovata, F. densiflora, F. mandshurica, F. japonica, F. viridissima, and cultivars derived from F. ovata. The placement of F. ×intermedia cultivars with F. suspensa was similar forming CL-A I in the AFLP dendrogram. The RAPD and AFLP results clearly separated most F. ×intermedia cultivars from F. ovata derived cultivars. The genetic diversity of F. suspensa and F. viridissima should be investigated to verify whether these two species are truly parental taxa for F. ×intermedia. Placement of F. viridissima, F. ovata, and F. japonica in different sub-clusters requires further investigation regarding the possible existence of genetic diversity in the species, and their close relationship with F. koreana, F. mandshurica, and F. saxatalis.

Future plans for research projects which will be completed in a year include: (1) seed germination of Corylopsis and ex situ conservation, development of dormancy related markers, and genetic purity study, (2) changes in plant growth regulators in seeds and flower buds during dormancy induction and release from dormancy, (3) complete projects that were carried over from the previous CRIS Project Plans such as on thecharacterization of Abies koreana to document genetic variation and to investigate possible hybridization/introgression with A. nephrolepsis, genetic diversity of Hydrangea serrata and Kolkwitzia evaluated by morphological characteristics and molecular markers.


Joung, Y. H., M. S. Liao, M.S. Roh, K. Kamo, and J. S. Song.  2002.  In vitro propagation of Campanula glomerata, ‘Acaulis’ from leaf blade explants.  Scientia Hort.  92:147-146.

Reed, S. M., Y. Joung, and M. Roh.  2002.  Interspecific hybridization in Clethra. HortScience 37:393-397.

Roh, M.S., S. Kurita, X.Y. Zhao, and J. K. Suh.  2002.  Identification and classification of the Genus    Lycoris using molecular markers.  J. Kor. Soc. Hort. Sci. 43:120-132.

Lee, A-K, Suh, J-K, Roh, M. S., and Slovin, J. P.  2002.  Analysis of genetic relationships of Ardisia spp. using RAPD markers.  J. Hort. Sci. Biotech.  78: 24-28.

Roh, M. S., and J-B. Bentz.  2003.   Germination of Styrax japonicus seeds as influenced by storage and sowing conditions.  Acta Hort. 620: 411-416.

Joung, Y. H., and M. S. Roh.  2004.  Paternity determination of Ornithogalum seedlings using DNA markers.  J. Hort. Sci. Biotech. 79: 316-321.

Roh, M. S., J-A Bentz, P. Wang, E. Li, and M. Koshioka.  2004.  Maturity and temperature stratification affect the germination of Styrax japonicus seeds.    J. Hort. Sci. Biotech.  79: 645-651.

Roh, M. S., and Y. H. Joung.  2004.  Inflorescence development in an Ornithogalum dubium hybrid as influenced by bulb temperature treatment.  J. Hort. Sci. Biotech.  79: 576-581. 

Song, C.Y., Lee, N. S., and Roh, M. S.  2004.  Morphological characters and molecular markers for selection of Campanula portenschlagiana hybrids.  J. Kor. Soc. Hort. Sci.  45:261-269.

Roh, M. S.  2004. Flowering and inflorescence development of Lachenalia aloides 'Pearsonii' as influenced by bulb storage and forcing temperature.  Scientia Hort. 104:305-323.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A-K, and Suh, J-K.  2005.  Production of high quality Ardisia plantsby vegetative propagation.  Scientia Hort.  104:292-303. 

Meerow, A. W., Roh, M. S., Schnell, R. J.  2005.  Sixteen microsatellite loci from Halesia tetraptera (Styracaceae).  Molecular Biology Notes.  5:777-779.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A-K, and Suh, J-K.  2005.  Production of high quality Ardisia plantsby vegetative propagation.  Scientia Hort.  104:292-303. 

Joung, Y. H., and Roh, M. S.  2005.  Mapping characterization of Pinus sylvestris var. sylvestriformis based on chloroplast DNA microsatellite markers.  Forest Genetics 12:89-98.

Roh, M. S., R. Lawson, Lee, J. S., , Suh, J. K., Criley, R. A., and Apavatjrut, P.  2006.  Evaluation of Curcuma as potted plants and cut flowers.  J. Hort. Sci. & Biotech.  81(1):63-71.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A-K, Suh, J-K, and Slovin, J.  2006.  Confirmation of cross-pollination of Ardisia crenata by sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers.  Scientia Hort.  109:361-367.

Lee, N. S. S. H. Yeau, J. O. Park, and M. S. Roh.  2006.  Molecular evidence for hybridization of Ilex × wandoensis (Aquifoliaceae) by RAPD analysis.  J. Plant Biol.  49:491-497.

Roh, M. S., and D-K Hong.  2007.  Inflorescence development and flowering of Ornithogalum thyrsoides hybrids as affected by temperature manipulation during bulb storage.  Scientia Hort. 113:60 – 69.

Roh, M. S., De Benedetti, L., Y. H. Joung, and N. S. Lee.  2007.  Identification of Tsuga germplasm by morphological characters and RAPD markers.  Chin. J. Appl. Environ. Biol.  13:145-151.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A. K., Choi, I-Y., Kim, J-Y., Joung, Y. H., Lee, S. H., and Suh, J. K.  2007.    Characterization of the Corylopsis coreana using mlecular markers.  Hort. Environ. Biotechnol. 48:176-187.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A. K., and Suh, J. K.  2007.  Induction of bulb maturity of Ornithogalum thyrsoides.  Scientia Hort. 114:138-141.

Roh, M. S., Cheong, E. J., Choi, I-Y, and Joung, Y. H.  2007. Characterization of wild Prunus yedoensis analyzed by inter-simple sequence repeat and chloroplast DNA.  Scientia Hort. 114:121-128.

Roh, M. S., Lee, A. K., Suh, J.K., Joung Y.H., Choi, I.Y., Lee, N.S., Park, J.O., Koshioka, M., Yeau, S. H., Slovin, J.E.  2008.  Evaluation, characterization, and identification of woody landscape plants. Acta Hort. 769:327-338

Roh, Mark S., Y. H. Joung, J. K. Suh, and A-K. Lee. 2008.   Production of quality woody and floral crops using innovative production techniques.  Acta Hort. 766:29-44.

Criley, R. A.,  M. S. Roh, M. Kikuchi, and R. M. Manshardt. 2008.  A comparison of Gardenia augusta cultivars using isozymes and RAPD markers.  Acta Hort. 766:461-468.

Lee, A. K., S. K. Suh, and M. S. Roh.  2007.  Optimum bulb vernalization temperature of Asiatic hybrid lilies, Lilium× elegans Thunb.  Hort. Environ. Biotechnol.  48:303-313.

Lee, A. K., S. K. Suh, and M. S. Roh.  2008.  Requirement of bulb vernalization and shoot photoperiod for the flowering of Lilium× elegans cultivars.  Hort. Environ. Biotechnol.  49: 90 – 97.

Roh, M. S., A-K Lee, J. K. Suh and C. M. Bordeloon.  2008.   Interspecific variations in seed germination of Corylopsis.  Scientia Hort.  118:347-350. 

Johnson, G. W., and Roh, M. S.  2008.  Styrax L.  Woody Seed Manual.  Agriculture Handbook 727.  US Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service. 

Roh, M. S., W. A. McNamara, D. Piction, K. Yin, and Q. Wang.  2008.  Assessment of genetic variation in Acer pentaphyllum based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms.  J. Hort. Sci. & Biotech.  83:725-731.

Roh, M. S., and R. Lawson.  2009.  Source of boron in Curcuma for burn symptoms at leaf margins.  J. Plant Nutrition.  32:798-808.

Lee, A. K., J. K Suh, and M. S. Roh.  2010.  Flowering and changes in respiration in Asiatic hybrid lilies as influenced by bulb vernalization.  Scientia Hort.  123: 366 – 371.

Yuan, T., L. Y. Wang, and M. S. Roh.  2010.  Confirmation of Clematis hybrids using molecular markers.  Scientia Hort. 125:136-145.

Lee, A. K., T. Yuan, J. K Suh, D-S. Choi, I-K Choi, M. S. Roh, Y. H. Joung, J-Y Koh, and J. S. Lee.  2010.  Pulsatilla tongkangensis, a new hybrid swarm population hybrized with P. koreana based on RAPD and SNPs of chloroplast DNA.  Hort. Environ. Biotech.  51:409-421.

Suh, J. K., W. Hetterscheid, A. K. Lee, J. Hong, and M. S. Roh. 2011.  Identification and evaluation of Forsythia germplasm using molecular markers.  Genetic Resources  Crop Evol.  58: 1225 - 1235. 

Lee, A. K., Y. H. Joung, X. W. Wu, H. K. Jung, C. John Burk, L. I. Sanders, M. S. Roh, and J. K. Suh.  2011.  Confirmation of hybrid origin in Arisaema (Araceae) using molecular markers.  Scientia Hort.. 129:812 – 817. 

Horimoto, T., M. Koshioka, S. Kubota, L. N. Mander, N. Hirai, N. Ishida, J. K. Suh, A. K. Lee, and M. S. Roh.  2011.  Effect of warm and cold stratification on 1H-NMR profiles, endogenous gibbefrellins and abscisic acid in Styrax japonicus seeds.  Hort. Environ. Biotech. 52:233-239.

Yoo, Y. K., T. Yuan, J. S. Lee, A. K. Lee, M. S. Roh, S. Kurita, and J. K. Suh.   2011.  Species relationships of Lycoris endemic to Korea evaluated by RAPD and SNPs of nrDNA-ITS regions.  Hort. Environ. Biotech.  52:145-151.

Suh, J.K. J.H. Kim, A.K. Lee and M.S. Roh.  2011.  Flowering of Watsonia laccata as influenced by corm storage and forcing temperatures.  South African J. Bot.  77:631 – 637.

Lee, J-S and M. S. Roh.  2011.  Propagation, nutrition managements, and controlled flowering of Correa ‘Mannii’ as a potted plant. Hort. Environ. Biotech. 52:357 – 368.

Roh, M.S., G. R. Bauchan, and M.S. Huda.  2012.  Physical and chemical properties of biobased plastic resins containing chicken feather fibers.  Hort. Environ. Biotech.  53:72 – 80.

Roh, M.S., G. R. Bauchan, and M.S. Huda.  2012.  The effect of biobased plastic resins containing chicken feather fibers on the growth and flowering of Begonia boliviensis.  Hort. Environ. Biotech. 53:81 - 91.

Research Unit Home Page || Mission & Goals || History || Locations
Scientists & Specialties || Postdoctorals & Support Scientists || Technical & Support Staff
Recent Accomplishments || Publications & Patents || New Plant Introductions
Woody Landscape Plants Germplasm Repository || National Herbarium

 Back to the Arboretum Home Page
Arboretum Information || Events & Education || Gardens & Horticulture || Research Activities
Support the Arboretum || New Plant Introductions || USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map || Comments
Search Our Site

Last Updated   November 2, 2012 12:49 PM


Please address any comments or questions regarding any portion of this web page by e-mail to the FNPRU site administrator