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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EXCHANGE OF CROP GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE U.S. NATIONAL PLANT GERMPLASM SYSTEM

Location: National Germplasm Resources

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Identify key germplasm gaps in NPGS collections, prioritize the acquisition needs, identify opportunities for acquisition, and secure needed genetic resources through cross-institutional linkages, plant exchanges, explorations, and importation. Develop approaches to share benefits with host countries for providing NPGS access to needed germplasm. Expand, enhance, and maintain the online database (GRIN-Taxonomy)that provides access to, and promotes the proper and consistent use of validated, standard botanical and cultivated scientific plant names, taxonomic classifications, and associated data by genetic resource managers and researchers worldwide. Expand the nomenclatural, classificatory, and ecogeographical information available on GRIN for highly diverse specialty crop taxa.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
To identify NPGS germplasm gaps, we will assemble and analyze systematic and ecogeographic data on the taxa in the crop genepool, current ex situ holdings of germplasm of taxa in the crop genepool, reported problems in the crop that can be addressed by additional germplasm, reported needs of breeders or other researchers for new germplasm and in situ conservation status of taxa in the genepool genetic resources. Maintain all of the identified NPGS germplasm gaps in a searchable database. Prioritize the identified collection needs to acquire the more valuable and most threatened accessible genetic resources that are needed. Priority factors include: interest of the curator and CGC in acquiring new germplasm, potential of the target germplasm to solve the identified problem(s) in the crop, magnitude of the identified gaps in the NPGS, accessibility to germplasm in countries within the distribution of the taxa in the genepool, and the projected economic value of use of the targeted germplasm. Administer the Plant Exploration and Exchange Program to obtain the needed germplasm. Monitor the latest taxonomic literature, through routine literature searches to detect any changes to existing taxonomy and/or nomenclature for possible adoption in GRIN. Correct authorship and spelling or other details of publication of a name to ensure the accuracy of this information. Conform all nomenclature to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). Cite in GRIN the literature or other bases for taxonomic or nomenclatural decisions. New classifications based on molecular evidence, will be considered for GRIN taxonomy provided that they conform to acceptable nomenclature in ICBN. Synonyms accepted in recent literature will be added. Common names in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, or Japanese, will be added in conformity to GRIN standards and reflecting native scripts when possible. The sources for all common names, the negative economic effects of alternate host plants for plant diseases or pests, and of weeds and poisonous plants will be recorded on GRIN. Native distributions will be documented by country (or state for large countries) and these records linked to more detailed external web resources. Information on non-native distributions will also be provided, and for invasive or potentially invasive species distribution data will be evaluated in comparison to data from federal and state invasive species initiatives.


3.Progress Report
NPGS germplasm needs for all major U.S. crops are being reviewed by compiling origin and improvement status data for the NPGS accessions of the crop and the related species, listed in the Germplasm Resources Information Network and comparing them with the geographical range record for these taxa. The important genetic relatives of the 25 major U.S. crops, their representation in the National Plant Germplasm System and source country were identified through a new program initiated through this project to facilitate the identification of germplasm gaps. During FY 2010, nineteen plant explorations were coordinated. Explorations occurred in Armenia, China, Georgia, Morocco, Russia, and the United States. Germplasm collected on these explorations included beet, carrot, fruits, grasses, lettuce, onion, new crops, nuts, ornamentals, small grains and sunflower. These accessions are new sources of genetic diversity that have been added to the NPGS 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, training of scientists, and upgrade of genebank facilities. The existing collaborative projects in Ecuador, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Morocco and Tunisia were maintained and supported. The project continued to support to the germplasm conservation activities of native U.S. Fraxinus species severely threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer. A third collection of Ash germplasm indigenous to China was organized, planned and implemented in collaboration with Beijing Botanic Garden and a U.S. consortium of Botanic Gardens. Over 4,000 taxon records were updated in GRIN Taxonomy during FY2010. About 1,500 of these were new additions to GRIN, many in response to the ca. 100 requests received from National Plant Germplasm System workers during this period, such as to accommodate newly acquired accessions from the Seeds of Success project of the Bureau of Land Management, for the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station, or those from the Millennium Seed Bank, for the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation. Adjustments to taxonomy data involving some 85,000 records, especially economic use and common name records were accomplished to provide better documentation of GRIN Taxonomy data. PEO assisted in the distribution of 46,116 samples of NPGS accessions to researchers in 63 different countries throughout the world and the import of 30 shipments of germplasm from 22 different foreign countries for U.S. researchers and the NPGS.


4.Accomplishments
1. NPGS Germplasm needs for Alfalfa. PEO compiled origin and improvement status data for the NPGS accessions of the crop alfalfa and related taxa listed in the Germplasm Resources Information Network comparing them with the geographical range record for this crop group to identify the NPGS germplasm needs. The identified needs were then prioritized for collecting and exchange based on procedures in the approved research plan. The information will assist scientists in the U.S. and other countries in developing strategies for acquisition of missing genetic resources of crop relatives, and in situ conservation.

2. Identification of Crop Gene Pool Relatives in GRIN Taxonomy. The project to determine the important genetic relatives of all major and minor crops of importance to U.S. agriculture, and to provide a full treatment of these in GRIN Taxonomy, was continued in FY2010. The work is being performed in consultation with National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) curators and Crop Germplasm Committees for the crops involved. Work on 20 of the most economically important crops has already been concluded, identifying over 700 primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pool relatives for these crops, and a web interface to query and retrieve the results of this project is now operational. The information generated assists scientists in the U.S. and other countries in developing strategies for acquisition of missing genetic resources of crop relatives, in situ conservation and germplasm enhancement.

3. Genetic resources distributed to scientists worldwide. PEO assisted in the distribution of 46,116 samples of NPGS accessions to researchers in 63 different countries throughout the world and the import of 30 shipments of germplasm from 22 different foreign countries for U.S. researchers and the National Plant Germplasm System. Impact: Making germplasm readily available to scientist for use in production and basic research is the most important justification for crop conservation.


Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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