PRESERVATION AND QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit
Project Number: 5402-21000-007-00
Start Date: Aug 04, 2008
End Date: May 12, 2013
The primary goal of the research is to provide safe long-term storage, and to ensure the maximum longevity possible, of stored plant and microbial genetic resources. Over the next five years the Plant Genetic Resources Preservation Program (PGRPP) at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) will focus on the following four, largely non-hypothesis driven, objectives:
1. Long-term preservation of seed genetic resources collections.
2. Develop, adapt, modify and/or apply methods for secure long-term back-up preservation of selected vegetatively-propagated crops, especially Allium, Fragaria, Ipomoea, Humulus, Musa, Prunus, Pyrus, Rubus and Ribes.
3. Initiate comprehensive and strategic long-term secure back-up storage of priority microbial collections, commencing with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Culture Collection in Peoria, Illinois.
4. Conduct collaborations, consultations, coordination, scientific exchanges, targeted training, and technology transfer to promote and facilitate the adoption and application of long-term preservation strategies and technologies in domestic and international genebanks.
5. Devise new methods for high through-put phenotyping of root system architectural diversity in plant germplasm.
As the guardians of the base collection for the NPGS, the PGRPP has the responsibility of ensuring that the methods employed for long-term preservation of the genetic resources are the best possible for maintaining a viable and healthy collection. The four objectives will accomplish this by:
1. Improving the quality control of the NPGS base collections by upgrading and operating an ongoing program to evaluate and enhance the secure long-term preservation, monitoring, and documentation of seed in the NPGS base collection.
2. Focusing research on the development, adaptation, and/or application of methods for the secure long-term preservation of selected germplasm collections of priority vegetatively-propagated crops.
3. Actively seeking to facilitate and coordinate the back-up of ARS microbial collections at NCGRP in cryogenic storage.
4. Aiding in the building the global infrastructure for genetic research preservation by participation at national and international levels to promote, facilitate and provide the underpinning for a global genetic resources preservation community.
5. Expanding information about our genetic resources by characterization of root system architecture in relation to canopy growth and defining genotypic and phenotypic variability between accessions.