2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Expand support for foreign and domestic plant explorations, exchanges and associated benefit-sharing projects focused on acquiring wild relatives of crops and traditional landraces underrepresented in NPGS collections.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Revise and distribute guidelines for plant exploration/exchange proposal preparation and exploration/exchange execution. Provide guidance to scientists on proposal preparation, trip planning, collecting permits, documentation of collections, collecting protocols, recommended equipment and other matters. Coordinate review of proposals and arrange for funding of approved explorations/exchanges. Communicate with foreign government authorities to negotiate terms on access to genetic resources. Identify specific projects to serve as benefit sharing for foreign explorations. Develop agreements, such as Material Transfer Agreements, with foreign governments to specify terms of access and benefit sharing. Assist explorers with complying with Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plant import regulations. Coordinate introduction of material requiring quarantine with the APHIS Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program. Use the Plant Exploration Tracking System to track incorporation of collected germplasm into the NPGS, submission of reports, and entry of passport data into Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
From October 2011 to September 2012, 15 plant explorations and exchanges were coordinated. Plant explorations took place in Morocco (2), Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan (2), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the United States (4). A plant exchange expedition to Canada was also conducted. Germplasm collected on these explorations and exchanges included fruits, beets, onions, carrots, grasses, lettuce, energy crops, nuts, potatoes, and woody and herbaceous ornamentals. These accessions are new sources of genetic diversity that have been added to the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and will soon be available to plant breeders and other researchers worldwide. Benefit sharing with the host countries for foreign explorations included sharing of germplasm, purchase of equipment, and training of scientists.