2008 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Acquire, evaluate, and enhance germplasm of guayule, lesquerella, and other promising species for use by industry in developing new/alternative industrial crops.
Objective 2: Develop economical production systems for new/alternative industrial crops.
Objective 3: Develop value added coproducts, improved analytical methods for traits such as latex, rubber, resin, oil, glucosinolate, estolide, and fatty acid contents, and post harvest storage methods for new industrial crops.
Objective 4: Develop improved germplasm for low input, high yielding, cost-competitive oilseed and biomass crops as bio-fuels and other biobased products that are environmentally sound alternatives to petroleum-based products.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Germplasm that has been previously collected as well as new germplasm collections will be evaluated for important characteristics to meet objectives 1 and 4. Evaluation data and seed will be sent to the appropriate curators for entry into the National Plant Germplasm System. Standard and modified breeding procedures will be used in selecting and improving germplasm to develop enhanced germplasm with increased levels of desired traits such as oil content, specific fatty acid profiles, latex and resin contents, yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and biomass. Production systems will be devised and evaluated utilizing traditional plus new/alternative crops to develop systems that provide farmers profitable and sustainable management practices. New and improved analytical procedures will be developed as needed to evaluate germplasm for desired traits and potential co-products in Objectives 1 and 4. Formerly 5344-21410-004-00D (2/06).
FY 2008 was the final year of project 5347-21410-004-00D. A new project plan was written and approved through the OSCAR process. The new project title is “Commercialization of New Industrial Crop Germplasm and Cropping Systems” and the new project number is 5347-21410-005-00D. All major milestones in the old project were substantially met and work has started on milestones under the new project. Additional progress can also be found in reports for the sub CRIS reports for projects 5347-21410-004-01T, 5347-21410-004-06R, 5347-21410-004-07S, 5347-21410-004-10S, 5347-21410-004-11G, and 5347-21410-004-13T. The major relevance of this CRIS was to National Program Action Plan 301 Problem Area II b - Genetic Improvement. Germplasm was collected, evaluated, and enhanced so that new/alternative crops were developed and grown to produce an economic yield. The research was relevant to National Program Action Plan 306 Problem Area II a - Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products. The methods and products developed with cooperators lead to new uses and products. The CRIS also had relevance to National Program Action Plan 305 Problem Area I c - Sustainable Cropping Systems, and National Program Action Plan 307 II - Biodiesel.
Seed oil development of lesquerella from pollination to physiological maturity studied. Determination of optimum planting times and growing conditions is needed for successful commercialization of lesquerella. Field and growth chamber studies were conducted by ARS scientists in Maricopa, AZ to determine optimum growing temperatures and planting times. In the field study seed matured faster in the spring compared to the fall planted crop; lesquerolic acid, the predominate hydroxy fatty acid, was maximized three days earlier in the spring than in the fall planted crop; and the oil content was higher in the fall planted crop. In the growth chamber studies the optimum temperature for branching and seed set was found to be in the range from 13 to 18°C. These results help target lesquerella growing regions for maximum seed production and aid in determining heat units and degree day thresholds for the crop. The results are of interest to scientists and growers of lesquerella. National Program Action Plan 301 Problem Area II b - Genetic Improvement.
Storage studies conducted on methods to maintain latex extractability and yield of fresh harvested guayule shrub. Currently guayule shrub must be processed within a few hours of harvest to maintain latex extractability and yield or latex is converted to solid rubber. Conversion back to latex involves a cost prohibitive chemical process. Storage studies conducted by ARS scientists in Maricopa, AZ on fresh harvested guayule indicated that harvested guayule shrub can be stored for up to four weeks without significant loss of latex if the harvested material is kept moist and shaded. These results show that processing of harvested guayule shrub can be carried out over a longer period than currently is being done, while maintaining or even increasing latex yields. National Program 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products), Component 1 (Quality, Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement), Problem Area 1D (Preservation and/or Enhancement of Quality and Marketability).
Cotton gin waste and guayule bagasse combined to make composite boards. Utilization of cotton gin wastes and guayule bagasse is needed to enhance the profitability of these crops. Studies utilizing cotton gin wastes and guayule bagasse to make composite boards by ARS scientists in Maricopa, AZ showed that the boards had acceptable mechanical properties for construction use. Utilizing these wastes from processing of cotton and guayule should increase the profitability of both crops. National Program 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products), Component 1 (Quality, Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement), Problem Area 1D (Preservation and/or Enhancement of Quality and Marketability).
Homozygous lesquerella population with 0% lesquerolic acid and high oleic acid developed. Mutant populations varying in fatty acid composition are needed to study inheritance of fatty acids and determine biological pathways. A homozygous lesquerella population with a mutant trait for 0% lesquerolic acid and high oleic acid was developed by ARS scientists in Maricopa, AZ and the seed increased for a public germplasm release. The mutant should benefit molecular biologists studying the essential genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of hydroxylated fatty acids. National Program Action Plan 301 Problem Area II b - Genetic Improvement.
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
|Number of Active CRADAs||1|
|Number of the New MTAs (providing only)||1|
|Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings||10|
Adam, N.R., Dierig, D.A., Coffelt, T.A., Wintermeyer, M., Mackey, B.E., Wall, G.W. 2007. Cardinal temperatures for germination and early growth of two Lesquerella species. Industrial Crops and Products 25:24-33.