Start Date: May 29, 2008
End Date: May 22, 2013
The objectives of this project will be met by: a) Surveying existing domestic and international collections of Vitis, Malus, and Prunus (tetraploid cherry) to identify material that would refine and fill gaps in NPGS collections; b) acquiring new accessions of wild species and heirloom cultivars, and as appropriate, genetic stocks of apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry that have been extensively characterized genetically; c) enlisting genetic marker and other information to refine the holdings of the preceding priority genera by de-accessioning materials that are misidentified or unnecessarily redundant; d) conserving, regenerating, and distributing cold hardy grape, tart cherry, and apple genetic resources and associated information; e) backing up primary collections of cold hardy grape, tart cherry, and apples via nursery plantings, cryopreservation, and seed samples; f) developing and applying genetic markers for phylogenetic and genetic diversity analyses, emphasizing SSRs and sequence-based markers in cold hardy grape, tart cherry, and apples; g) generating SSR fingerprints for all priority accessions (ca. 5,000) of cold hardy grape, tart cherry, and apples and use them to determine the identity, diversity, phylogeny, and systematics of these genetic resources, and to enhance the effectiveness of genetic resource management; and h) incorporate characterization data into GRIN and other databases, and evaluating in collaborative research program, highly heritable traits of cold hardy grape, tart cherry, and apples according to CGC-approved descriptors, and incorporate data into GRIN and other databases. The primary link with users will be through Crop Germplasm Committees that define crop priorities for collection and evaluation.