Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF SUBTROPICAL/TROPICAL FRUIT CROPS, SUGARCANE, AND TRIPSACUM GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: The National Plant Germplasm System: the subtropical and tropical fruit genebanks

Authors
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas
item Schnell Ii, Raymond
item Goenaga, Ricardo
item Zee, Francis
item Irish, Brian

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2008
Publication Date: February 15, 2013
Citation: Ayala Silva, T., Schnell II, R.J., Goenaga, R.J., Zee, F.T., Irish, B.M. 2013. The National Plant Germplasm System: the subtropical and tropical fruit genebanks. Acta Horticulturae. 975:43-54.

Interpretive Summary: The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is a network of 29 repositories nationwide that preserve, characterize and regenerate seed and other tissues of crop plants and their wild relatives. The system houses more than 500,000 accessions comprising over 2100 genera and more than 13,100 crop species. The NPGS has collections for about 85 major crops. It is one of the world's largest collectors and distributors of Plant genetic resources (PGRs). This public germplasm management system has yielded large economic benefits to public and private organizations worldwide. Plant genetic resources (PGRs) serve as the basic materials for research and development to maintain agricultural productivity. The resources provide useful genes and traits for food, feed, fiber, ornamental, and energy uses. Endangered worldwide by human and natural forces, their conservation is vital to the wealth and future of mankind. The NPGS research programs are dedicated to answering questions that help curators and researchers conserve and manage PGRs in a more effective and cost-efficient manner. Characterization and evaluation information is collected by curators, staff and researchers on agronomic performance, biochemical, genetic, phenotypic traits and qualities. Digital images are obtained to provide useful detail on plant, fruit and seed structures, and permanent vouchers for reference use. Analysis of highly transmissible traits supports taxonomic identification and quality assurance. Information on their adaptation, maturity, and reactions to environmental or physical stress is important to researchers. This paper looks at the benefits generated by the PGRs held by three tropical/subtropical fruit crops clonal repositories that are part of the NPGS. These are the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, FL, the Tropical Agriculture Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez, PR, and the Tropical Plant Genetic Resource Management Unit (TPGRMU) in Hilo, HI.

Technical Abstract: The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is a network of 29 repositories nationwide that preserve, characterize and regenerate seed and other tissues of crop plants and their wild relatives. The system houses more than 500,000 accessions comprising over 2100 genera and more than 13,100 crop species. The NPGS has collections for about 85 major crops. It is one of the world's largest collectors and distributors of germplasm. This public germplasm management system has yielded large economic benefits to public and private organizations worldwide. Plant genetic resources (PGR’s) serve as the basic materials for research and development to sustain agricultural productivity. The resources provide useful genes and traits for food, feed, fiber, ornamental, and energy uses. Endangered globally by human and natural forces, their conservation is essential to the wealth and future of mankind. The NPGS research programs are dedicated to answering questions that help curators and researchers conserve and manage genetic resources in a more effective and cost-efficient manner. Characterization and evaluation information is collected by curators, staff and researchers on agronomic performance, biochemical, genetic, phenotypic traits and qualities. Digital images are captured to provide useful detail on plant, fruit and seed structures, and permanent vouchers for reference use. Analysis of highly heritable traits supports taxonomic identification and quality assurance. Information on their adaptation, maturity, and reactions to environmental or physical stress is valuable to researchers. This paper examines the benefits generated by the genetic resources held by three tropical/subtropical fruit crops clonal repositories that are part of the NPGS. These are the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, FL, the Tropical Agriculture Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez, PR, and the Tropical Plant Genetic Resource Management Unit (TPGRMU) in Hilo, HI.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014