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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of Improved Grass and Legume Germplasm and Management Technologies for Use in Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Pastures

Location: Forage and Range Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop technologies and methodologies associated with grass endophytes and evaluate plant germplasm (grass and legumes) for use in irrigated and non-irrigated pastures.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Collaborative experiments will be designed and implemented either in the laboratory or the field depending upon the objective. Laboratory experiments will be conducted jointly in Logan, Utah, and the Center for Frigid Zone Plant Gene Resource Research of Heilongjiang Province, China (CFZPR) where endophytes and evaluation of germplasm for abiotic stress environments are involved. Where experiments involve the development of technologies (morphological and molecular) for endophyte identification, work will be performed in Logan, Utah. Germplasm evaluation of Chinese and U.S. grass and legume accessions (cultivars and lines) will be conducted in the Great Basin region of Utah and in the Heilongjiang Province, China, under irrigated and non-irrigated growing areas as deemed appropriate. This research will attempt to: 1)Evaluate the performance of grasses and legumes under abiotic stress conditions;.
2)Develop breeding methodologies for improved agronomic performance of pasture species (grasses and legumes);.
3)Evaluate the nutritional quality of pasture species in animal production (e.g., dairy cattle and sheep);.
3)Develop methodologies associated with the identification of endophytes and their inoculation into novel grass plants;.
4)Develop methodologies (morphological, biochemical, and molecular) which will identify specific endophytes; and,.
5)Evaluate agronomic performance of endophyte (+) and non-endophyte (-) containing novel Chinese and U.S. grass germplasm along with appropriate + or - endophyte containing control germplasm under differing growing conditions (e.g., abiotic and biotic stress).


3.Progress Report

Germplasm evaluation of Chinese and U.S. grass and legume accessions (cultivars and lines) will be conducted by the FRRL in the Great Basin and the Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciencies/Institute of Pratactultural Science (IPS) Harbin, China under irrigated and non-irrigated growing conditions as deemed appropriate. Opportunities for graduate student training at the FRRL were discussed. Potential graduate students and visiting scientists were identified and invited to participate in this scientific exchange. Planning and execution of this cooperative agreement resulted in the exchange of one scientist (June 2010-four-year study; Institute of Practacultural Sciences) in the area of salinity tolerance of alfalfa.

Monitoring Methods: Chinese and US scientists meet in Harbin China (July 2009) where an agreement was made that laboratory experiments will be conducted jointly in Logan, Utah and the Inner Mongolia University (IMU), where research concerning the evaluation of germplasm for abiotic stress environments is being conducted. During this meeting, it was decided that the group of cooperating institutions be called, the Sino/US Grass Research Alliance (modified from the Chinese/US alliance for grass research) and abbreviated as SUSGRA. This marked the initiation of formal discussions with regards to developing cooperative research agreements with the FRRL for dry temperate environments. It was agreed to develop, organize, and implement plans for a 2010 meeting for SUSGRA in Yangling, China, where the purpose would be to solidify research commitments, to increase awareness of potential cooperative research among new members, and to work to increase the exchange of scientists between China and the U.S.


Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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