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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Strategically expand and improve genetic resource collections and associated information for priority fruit, nut, and other specialty temperate climate crops (and their wild relatives), especially, hazelnut, strawberries, hop, mint, pear, currants, gooseberries, brambles, blueberries, cranberries, hardy kiwifruit, and other small fruits. Strategically characterize, genotype and phenotype, priority fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources adapted to temperate climates for key traits such as genetic variability, adaptation, product quality, and other horticultural traits. Efficiently and effectively conserve and regenerate priority fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources adapted to temperate climates, and distribute disease-free samples and associated information worldwide.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Plant exploration expeditions will be taken in North Africa, Central Asia, Northern Europe for pome fruit and in China, Japan, Russia, Korea, Central and South America for berry crops. Plants from these areas will fill current gaps. Collecting trips will occur in collaboration with foreign scientist and quarantine officials. Horticultural and botanical experts in taxonomy will be consulted to verify the identity of accessions. Primary collections of woody plants will be maintained in field collections. Primary collections of herbacious perennial genera will be maintained in a screenhouse and repropagated. Duplicate plants will be maintained on site. Available plant materials will be distributed for research purposes. Backup hazelnut collection will be maintained in Parlier, California. Backup of small fruit, mint, and hop will occur on site. Tropical or sub tropical accessions will be protected from temperature extremes. Core collections will be propagated in vitro and in cryogenic storage at NCGRP, Fort Collins. Primary collections will be tested for pathogens and infected accessions will be subjected to therapy procedures to develop pathogen free replacements. Microsatellite fingerprinting sets will evaluate genetic diversity and determine clonal identity of blueberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, and pears. Clonal collections will be evaluated for high priority phenotypic characters including phenology, plant habit, fruit characters, and incidence of naturally occurring disease. Molecular and phenotypic information will be loaded to the public GRIN database. Formerly 5358-21000-033-00D (3/08).


3.Progress Report
This contributes to the goals of National Program #301 Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics, and Genetic Improvement. Component 1: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management. Problem statements 1A: Efficiently and Effectively Manage Plant and Microbial Genetic Resources, and 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationship and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources. This report serves to document the research conducted under the CRIS 5358-21000-038-00D Management of Temperate Fruit Nut and Specialty Crop Genetic Resources. New plant material was acquired from the Czech Republic and the United States. More than 10,000 plant and accessions were maintained at the Corvallis Repository Genebank. Plant material was backed-up in tissue cultures and in cryogenic preservation locally and in the remote collection of Ft. Collins, CO. Improved protocols for tissue culture and cryogenics of temperate fruit crops were developed. New germplasm was released. More than 5,000 accessions were distributed in the past year. Phenotypic and genotypic plant information was loaded to the Germplasm Resources Information Network. Blueberries were tested for scorch and shock viruses. Phytoplasma testing was begun on strawberries and Rubus. The hazelnut collection was monitored for, and protected from, eastern filbert blight. The Repository was certified to be free of sudden oak death. Identities of hazelnuts, blueberries, hops, pears, and strawberries were determined by molecular marker technology of simple sequence repeated DNA. More than 15 physically or mentally challenged individuals were trained or worked at the Corvallis Repository Genebank during the previous year.


4.Accomplishments
1. Genetic analysis of Fragaria genome

Two visiting Japanese scientists from Kagawa University working with the scientists at the Corvallis Genebank examined the chromosomes of the strawberry species of the Corvallis Genebank. Unusual genotypes were observed. A natural decaploid (10x) strawberry species was observed for the first time. A report was prepared and sent to the American Journal of Botany. This was the first report of a native strawberry with this amount (10x) of chromosomes. This finding is significant to the botanical taxonomic scientific community and may provide insight into the origin of the cultivated strawberry and it’s wild relatives. The value of the strawberry industry in the US is greater than $1.5 million. This contributes to the goals of National Program #301 Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics, and Genetic Improvement. Component 1: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management. Problem statement 1B:Assess the Systematic Relationship and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources.

2. Cryopreservation of blueberry genetic resources

Backup storage of active collections is essential for clonal germplasm, however no cryogenic protocols are available for blueberry accessions. The Corvallis Repository Staff tested three ways of cryopreserving the growing tips of blueberry cultivars. They obtained between 65 and 95% survivability after being subjected to liquid nitrogen temperatures. This high percent survivability means that the protocol was successful. This protocol can be transferred to the National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado, for long term (decades) preservation of blueberry genetic resources. Other global genebanks can also use these techniques to store blueberry relatives. The preservation of this Vaccinium germplasm supports a global industry that is worth $500 million and now increasing in acreage and value. This contributes to the goals of National Program #301 Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics, and Genetic Improvement. Component 1: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management. Problem statement 1A: Efficiently and Effectively Manage Plant and Microbial Genetic Resources.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of Web Sites Managed1
Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings1
Number of Newspaper Articles and Other Presentations for Non-Science Audiences4

Review Publications
Hummer, K.E. 2008. Pawpaws. HortScience. 43(5):1329.

Hummer, K.E. 2008. Currants. HortScience. 43(5):1325.

Hummer, K.E., Sabitov, A. 2008. Strawberry Species of Iturup and Sakhalin Islands. HortScience. 43(5)2008:1623-1625.

Brevis, P.A., Bassil, N.V., Ballington, J., Hancock, J. 2008. Impact of Wide Hybridization in Southern Highbush Blueberry Breeding. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 133(3):427-437.

Uchendu, E., Reed, B.M. 2008. A comparative study of three cryopreservation protocols for effective storage of in vitro-grown mint (mentha spp.). CryoLetters. 29(3):181-188.

Postman, J.D. 2008. Pears (In: Brooks & Olmo Register of New Fruit and Nut Varieties List 44). HortScience. 43(5):1334.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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