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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: World Pyrus Collection at USDA Germplasm in Corvallis, Oregon

Author
item POSTMAN, JOSEPH

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2007
Publication Date: October 20, 2008
Citation: Postman, J.D. 2008. World Pyrus Collection at USDA Germplasm in Corvallis, Oregon. Acta Horticulturae. 800:527-533.

Interpretive Summary: In 1980 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), established a genebank, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon. This facility is devoted to conservation of temperate fruit and nut crops. A globally diverse pear collection was assembled and expanded over the next 27 years. Unique pear varieties are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for important traits, tested for virus contamination, documented in a national public database, and freely distributed to researchers and others around the world. Seeds are stored in a freezer to represent wild pear populations. The Corvallis genebank now maintains 2030 different varieties of pear trees and 327 seedlots representing 36 species or sub-species from 53 countries. About 10% of the trees are backed up either as plants growing in tissue culture, or as small shoot tips frozen in liquid nitrogen. A DNA fingerprint database is partly developed. About 80% of the variety collection has tested negative for common viruses. During the past 3 years, an average of 775 samples were distributed annually to researchers around the world. While originally conceived primarily as a resource for plant breeders, this genebank also provides raw materials for basic genetic research, and preserves rare species and historic cultivars for future generations.

Technical Abstract: In 1980 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), established a genebank, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon. This facility is devoted to conservation of temperate fruit and nut crops. A globally diverse collection of Pyrus germplasm has been assembled and expanded over the subsequent 27 years. Unique pear genotypes are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits, tested for virus contamination, documented in a national public germplasm database, and freely distributed to international researchers. Seed collections represent wild Pyrus populations. The Corvallis genebank now maintains 2031 clonal Pyrus accessions and 327 seedlots representing 36 taxa from 53 countries. About 10% of clonal accessions are backed up either in vitro or as cryopreserved meristems. A DNA microsatellite fingerprint database has been initiated. About 75% of the clonal collection has tested negative for common latent viruses. During the past 3 years, an average of 775 accessions were distributed annually to researchers around the world. While originally conceived as a working collection for crop improvement, this genebank also provides the raw materials for basic genetic research, and preserves rare species, vulnerable landraces and historic cultivars. The NCGR collection serves as a laboratory and a classroom to promote the preservation of pear genetic diversity for future generations.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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