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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

Title: 30 years of preserving clonal genetic resources in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

Authors
item HUMMER, KIM
item POSTMAN, JOSEPH

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 22, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: For more than 30 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has preserved clonal plant genetic resources of horticultural crops in field gene banks. Facilities in Hilo, Hawaii; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Miami, Florida; and Riverside, California, were established to preserve tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas; Corvallis, Oregon; Davis, California; and Geneva, New York, preserve the temperate crops. Each of these facilities now has internationally recognized globally diverse collections for assigned genera. These eight genebanks maintain > 30,000 accessions representing 1,600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. Germplasm of unique clonal genotypes are maintained as living specimens. Seed lots represent native populations for crop wild relatives. Remote backup plants are secured through tissue culture or cryogenic storage of the clones at the USDA ARS National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The genetic resources are evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits that are documented in the USDA-ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database. Phytosanitary certification is obtained to meet quarantine regulation prior to distribution. Samples of more than 15,000 accessions are shipped annually to international researchers. While originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, these US genebanks have become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for education. Leaves and other samples from these collections are frequently requested for molecular markers and DNA analysis. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.

Technical Abstract: For more than 30 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has preserved clonal plant genetic resources of horticultural crops in field gene banks. Facilities in Hilo, Hawaii; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Miami, Florida; and Riverside, California, were established to preserve tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas; Corvallis, Oregon; Davis, California; and Geneva, New York, preserve the temperate crops. Each of these facilities now has internationally recognized globally diverse collections for assigned genera. These eight genebanks maintain > 30,000 accessions representing 1,600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. Germplasm of unique clonal genotypes are maintained as living specimens. Seed lots represent native populations for crop wild relatives. Remote backup plants are secured through tissue culture or cryogenic storage of the clones at the USDA ARS National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The genetic resources are evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits that are documented in the USDA-ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database. Phytosanitary certification is obtained to meet quarantine regulation prior to distribution. Samples of more than 15,000 accessions are shipped annually to international researchers. While originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, these US genebanks have become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for education. Leaves and other samples from these collections are frequently requested for molecular markers and DNA analysis. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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