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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ARCTIC AND SUBARCTIC PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES CONSERVATION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Project Number: 5341-21000-004-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 18, 2008
End Date: Jan 12, 2012

Objective:
The goals of this project are to conserve, evaluate, and distribute a broad spectrum of genetic resources of plants adapted to short cool seasons and a long photoperiod, to generate and manage associated information, and to provide a scientific base for its use in research and crop improvement. This will be achieved by accomplishing these four objectives: Objective 1: Conserve and regenerate priority crops, crop varieties, native species, and other NPGS genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and other high latitude regions efficiently and effectively, and distribute samples and associated information worldwide. Objective 2: Strategically expand the genetic diversity in genebank collections and improve associated information for priority genetic resources of crops, crop varieties, and native plant genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and other high latitude regions. Objective 3: Strategically characterize (“genotype”) and evaluate (“phenotype”) priority Rheum, Deschampsia, and other selected genetic resources for molecular markers, morphological descriptors, and key agronomic or horticultural traits. Objective 4: Elucidate the effects of key associated insects and pathogens on selected crops, crop varieties, and native plant genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and other high latitude regions.

Approach:
Agricultural development in circumpolar regions depends upon the availability of a broad genetic base of plant cultivars adapted to long day, short season and cool climate conditions. The biological properties of most high latitude native plant species and crop species are poorly understood, especially in plant hardiness zones not found in the conterminous U.S. Characterizations of germplasm and subsequent documentation of data are critical for germplasm management, utilization and the development of new crops for northern latitudes. There is a need for increased research to improve management of arctic/subarctic germplasm and to understand disease etiologies, host-pathogen interactions, and disease vector relationships. The USDA/ARS/NPGS is responsible for maintaining a diverse collection of plant genetic material in USA. The Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit is the primary U.S. location for preservation of plant germplasm important as food, feed, medicine, land reclamation, and site remediation in arctic/subarctic zones. This project is the only ARS, plant genetic resource conservation unit in the circumpolar region. The germplasm collection in Palmer maintains over 600 accessions. Research projects on targeted plant species include, but are not limited to Rheum, Carex, Juncus, Calamagrostis, Deschampsia, and Angelica spp. Other species such as potato, lupine, clover, black medic, barley, currant, strawberry, and other fruits are or will be studied on the Palmer site to help other NPGS units. Primary goals are: 1. To conserve and regenerate priority crops, crop varieties, native species, and other NPGS genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and high latitude regions, and distribute samples and associated information worldwide. 2. To strategically expand the genetic diversity in genebank collections, and improve associated information for priority genetic resources of crops, crop varieties, and native plant genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and other high latitude regions. 3. To strategically characterize and evaluate priority Rheum, Deschampsia, and other selected genetic resources for molecular markers, morphological descriptors, and key agronomic or horticultural traits. 4. To elucidate the effects of key associated insects and pathogens on selected crops, crop varieties, and native plant genetic resources adapted to circumpolar and other high latitude regions. Replacing 5341-21000-003-00D (04/2008)

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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