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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: National Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes

2008 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The long-term objective of this project is conservation, characterization, and distribution of plant genetic resources of designated Mediterranean-adapted fruit and nut crops and their wild-species relatives. Over the next 5 years we will focus on the following objectives:

Objective 1: Strategically expand the genetic diversity in genebank collections and improve associated information for priority vine, tree fruit, and nut crops (and their wild relatives) adapted to Mediterranean-like climates. Sub-objectives: a. Acquire samples of Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Pistacia, and Punica from Turkey and the Caucasus nations to fill current gaps in NPGS collections of these priority genera. b. Survey existing U. S. domestic (California and other states) collections of priority crops, identify material that would fill gaps in NPGS collections, and begin acquiring and characterizing them, initially emphasizing Vitis, Prunus, and Ficus cultivated material and germplasm of related wild species.

Objective 2: Conserve and regenerate priority vine, tree fruit, and nut crop genetic resources adapted to Mediterranean-like climates efficiently and effectively, and distribute disease-free samples (whenever feasible) and associated information worldwide. Sub-objectives: a. Conserve, regenerate, and distribute vine, tree fruit, and nut genetic resources and associated information, emphasizing Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Ficus, Olea, and Punica. b. Backup primary collections of Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Ficus, and Olea, via high-density nurseries, cryopreservation, and tissue culture. c. In collaboration with University of California, Davis Foundation Plant Services and the Canadian Plant Germplasm System, process 70 accessions of NPGS warm-season grapes through quarantine and make them available for distribution.

Objective 3: Strategically characterize (“genotype”) and evaluate (“phenotype”) priority vine, tree fruit, and nut crop genetic resources adapted to Mediterranean-like climates for molecular markers and key horticultural traits such as adaptation and product quality. Sub-objectives: a. In cooperation with other ARS and university collaborators, develop and apply new genetic markers for phylogenetic and genetic diversity analyses of priority crops, emphasizing simple sequence repeat (SSR) in Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Ficus, Olea, and Pistacia. b. Generate SSR “fingerprints” for ca. 1,000 accessions of priority crops, emphasizing Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Ficus, Olea, and Pistacia, and use them to determine the identity, diversity, and systematic relationships of these genetic resources, and to enhance the effectiveness of genetic resource management. Incorporate characterization data into GRIN and/or other databases. c. Extend ongoing cooperative research to evaluate horticultural quality for ca. 1,000 accessions of Vitis, Prunus, Juglans, Ficus, Olea, and Pistacia, and incorporate phenotypic data into GRIN and/or other databases.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Obtain new acquisitions to fill collection gaps and broaden diversity. Make contacts with appropriate institutions to exchange diverse germplasm. Through interactions with CGC's, develop exploration proposals. Engage in cooperative research on cryopreservation of buds. Place evaluation, passport, and source data on GRIN and local database. Expand assessment of genetic diversity by SSR technique and other molecular techniques in Vitis and other genera. Obtain descriptor data for traits of most value to users. Distribute to researchers worldwide. Inform public. Replacing 5306-21000-015-00D (3/08).

3.Progress Report
In FY08, the Davis repository acquired 107 new accessions representing eight species through exchanges and donations and 109 accessions representing 17 species through exploration in Azerbaijan. 4740 germplasm items were distributed to 12 different countries and 95 % of it went to U.S. public and private sector breeders, crop researchers, nurserymen, and other stakeholders, a 13% increase over 2007. 156 Italian wine grapes and 33 Tunisian V. sylvestris seedling accessions have been phenotyped for 35 standard descriptors and 100 Eastern European wine grapes are currently being evaluated. Olive collection (134 accessions) has been characterized for 29 descriptors. 1,300 wine and table grape and 350 wild grape accessions representing ~49 species of Vitis and 2 species of Mucadinia have been genotyped for 8 and 18 microsatellite loci, respectively to facilitate efficient characterization, conservation, and utilization of germplasm. We are contributing phenotypic data central to the National Grape Genetic Trait Index project for functional diversity and association genetic analyses. Photo-documentation is used to visually depict traits wherever possible. In collaboration with plant pathology unit, we are screening wild Juglans for Crown gall resistance. The following projects are completed during FY08: (1) Genetic diversity, phylogeny, and historical biogeography of Vitis: implications for genetic conservation – In this project 340 grape accessions across 56 taxa from both the Old and New World distributions were analyzed with 18 SSRs to assess the diversity and relationships within and between different taxa to address questions related to conservation and management of the different gene pools; (2) Genetic diversity and patterns of differentiation within and between the cultivated grape (V. vinifera) and its wild progenitor (V. v. ssp. sylvestris) – this project used extensive molecular characterization of selected cultivated and wild gene pools to trace the origin and domestication history of wine and table grapes; (3) Molecular diversity in fig – 194 accessions from Capri, Smyrna, San Pedro, and Common fig types were analyzed with 16 SSR loci and a manuscript is under preparation; (4) Genetic diversity in olives – 134 olive accessions from the NCGR collection and a number of Channel Island original olive introductions to California were genotyped for 11 SSR loci and analyzed with phenotypic data to understand diversity and contributions of historical introductions to California olive cultivar development and the industry; (5) With a 4-year Walnut Industry/UC Discovery grant, we are developing genomic resources through physical, genetic maps, and association mappings to identify quantitative trait loci for economic traits and to develop marker-assisted selection strategies for walnut improvement. All the projects are aimed at comprehensive evaluation that contributes to efficient conservation, management, and utilization of germplasm and utilize hypothesis driven genotyping and phenotyping of collections. The research progress reported here contributes to all the Problem Areas of Component I of the National Program 301.

1. This project replaced 5306-21000-015-00D in late April of 2008. No real accomplishments have been made at this time. Please see the report for project 5306-21000-015-00D for the accomplishments and more information.

6.Technology Transfer


Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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