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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR PASTURES AND RANGELANDS IN THE TEMPERATE SEMIARID REGIONS OF THE WESTERN U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Wildland Collection, Population Development, and Genetic Manipulation of Native Rangeland Grasses in the Intermountain West USA

Author
item JONES, THOMAS

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Jones, T.A. 2008. Wildland Collection, Population Development, and Genetic Manipulation of Native Rangeland Grasses in the Intermountain West USA. International Rangeland Congress.

Interpretive Summary: In the Intermountain West USA, a high demand for native plant materials exists, but customer expectations for native plant materials may be contradictory (Jones, 2003). Some customers spurn genetically manipulated or non-local plant materials, while others accept manipulation or non-local origin when necessary to achieve satisfactory performance. For certification purposes, the AOSCA pre-variety germplasm system accommodates manipulated and natural "tracks", various degrees of testing prior to release, and seed production located at both wildland in situ and cultivated ex situ sites. The USDA-ARS native plant material development program at Logan, Utah, seeks to deliver the best-performing materials possible that respect the variety of constraints or lack of constraints imposed by the customers. Markets for native rangeland grasses will increase in size as wildfires increase in frequency due to deteriorating ecological conditions of Intermountain rangelands. Demand for cultivars and pre-variety germplasms of native grasses with improved performance will increase as establishment success decreases due to competition from invasive species. Nevertheless, constraints on origin and manipulation of native plant materials will continue to be a reality. In the Intermountain West USA, plant material developers must continue to seek ways to enhance performance yet respect potential customer-driven constraints regarding plant material development whenever possible.

Technical Abstract: In the Intermountain West USA, a high demand for native plant materials exists, but customer expectations for native plant materials may be contradictory (Jones, 2003). Some customers spurn genetically manipulated or non-local plant materials, while others accept manipulation or non-local origin when necessary to achieve satisfactory performance. For certification purposes, the AOSCA pre-variety germplasm system accommodates manipulated and natural "tracks", various degrees of testing prior to release, and seed production located at both wildland in situ and cultivated ex situ sites. The USDA-ARS native plant material development program at Logan, Utah, seeks to deliver the best-performing materials possible that respect the variety of constraints or lack of constraints imposed by the customers. Markets for native rangeland grasses will increase in size as wildfires increase in frequency due to deteriorating ecological conditions of Intermountain rangelands. Demand for cultivars and pre-variety germplasms of native grasses with improved performance will increase as establishment success decreases due to competition from invasive species. Nevertheless, constraints on origin and manipulation of native plant materials will continue to be a reality. In the Intermountain West USA, plant material developers must continue to seek ways to enhance performance yet respect potential customer-driven constraints regarding plant material development whenever possible.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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