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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Conserve and distribute a wide range of small grains genetic diversity and associated information to researchers and breeders worldwide. Strategically evaluate (phenotype) small grains genetic resources for priority biotic and abiotic stress resistance, quality factors, and other priority agronomic traits, and incorporate phenotypic data into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) and/or other databases. Make newly-found major genes and adult-plant genes for Ug99 stem rust resistance available to breeders for incorporation into adapted germplasm for the United States. Characterize the genetic variability in small grain genebank collections via genotyping with leading edge genetic marker technology and geographic information systems.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Acquisition priorities include the wild relatives of Triticum, Hordeum, Avena, and Oryza to fill species and ecogeographic gaps in the crop collections. Geographic regions of special interest are the Caucasus and Central Asia. These gaps will be primarily addressed by collection expeditions and exchanges with other genebanks. All acquisitions will follow USDA-APHIS protocols to avoid the introduction of harmful diseases and insects. Mapping populations and other genetic resources developed in the Barley and Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) will be stored and distributed as part of National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) genetic stock collections. Established procedures will be used to maintain and regenerate all NSGC germplasm accessions, with special attention to seed preparation and planting, plant pathogen monitoring, harvest, and laboratory processing. Seed will be provided to the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation for safety back up. New information technology will be identified to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of the data collected. The project will either conduct or coordinate systematic evaluations of important traits. The small grains Crop Germplasm Committees (CGC) have previously developed lists of descriptors for evaluation and are consulted regularly for evaluation priorities. Several evaluations, ongoing for a number of years and considered high priority by the CGC, will be continued. Ug99 stem rust resistance research will focus on identifying new major and adult-plant genes in wheat landraces and making the new sources of resistance available to breeders for transfer to adapted germplasm for all regions of the U.S. Evaluation of rice germplasm will be coordinated at the USDA-ARS Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center, Stuttgart, Arkansas and data will be returned to Aberdeen for inclusion in GRIN. SSR markers will be employed to genotype the NSGC core subsets of wheat and barley, totaling 5,500 and 2,577 accessions, respectively. To eliminate variation due to heterogeneity within accessions, single-plant-selections for each core accession will be generated for genotyping. Resulting data will be analyzed to better understand genetic variation within the collection, including the relationship between variation and geographic origin of accessions. Country, state/province, locality, and latitude/longitude data for NSGC accessions are maintained in GRIN. Traits of interest will be mapped and analyzed using GIS software and appropriate statistical techniques. Because stem and stripe rust of wheat and barley are of current concern worldwide, priority will be given to mapping the geographic origin of resistance. Accession genetic diversity in the core collections, based on molecular marker data will be mapped to better understand its relationship to accession geographic origin, to elucidate relations between geographic patterns of molecular diversity and trait diversity, and to do gap analysis to identify priority areas for future collection. Replacing 5366-21000-022-00D (3/08). FY09 Program Increase $175,000 FY10 Program Increase $37,200

3. Progress Report:
This is the final report for the project 5366-21000-027-00D that terminated in February 2013 and was replaced with 5366-21000-029-00D. Details of the continued work of the NSGC can be found in the FY2013 Annual Report for 5366-21000-029-00D. NSGC increased holdings more than 8000 since March, 2008. The majority of the increase was due to accessioning the mapping populations from the NIFA-funded Wheat and Barley CAP (Coordinated Agricultural Projects). Since March, 2008 NSGC has distributed more than 258,000 accession seed samples in more than 3400 individual requests. Approximately 30% of the requests were from foreign scientists. Since March, 2008 NSGC has scheduled more than 35,000 accessions for regeneration at the locations of Aberdeen, Idaho; Parlier, California; Beaumont, Texas; Stuttgart, Arkansas; Puerto Rico; and Aberdeen greenhouses. Security back-up samples sent to NCGRP totaled more than 28,000 in this time period. Additionally, more than 24,000 back-up samples were sent to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Success rate for these regenerations has averaged greater than 90%. Precise, quantitative kernel color and 1000-kernel weight data was obtained and recorded in GRIN for all cultivated accessions of wheat, barley, oat, rye, and triticale. More than 2500 spring habit wheat landrace accessions have been evaluated for the Ug99 stem rust race in a field location in Njoro, Kenya in cooperation with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and CIMMYT. A number of resistant accessions have been identified for further analysis. Molecular data consisting of 400 DArT© markers for the wheat core subset and 2300 DArT© markers for the barley core subset were added to GRIN.

4. Accomplishments
1. NSGC germplasm distributed to scientists. More than 61,000 NSGC seed samples were distributed from the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility, Aberdeen, Idaho, to scientists in more than 800 separate requests. Thirty percent of the requests were from scientists outside the U.S. Germplasm is the basis of small grains improvement. Seed was distributed for research purposes, including evaluations for Ug99 stem rust resistance. Seed was distributed for germplasm enhancement, including the development of new, improved cultivars for release to farmers. Seed was distributed for educational purposes, including displays at historical farms and museums.

Review Publications
Newcomb, M.S., Acevedo, M., Bockelman, H.E., Brown Guedira, G.L., Goates, B., Jackson, E.W., Jin, Y., Njau, P., Rouse, M.N., Singh, D., Waynera, R., Bonman, J.M. 2013. Field resistance to the Ug99 race group of the stem rust pathogen in spring wheat landraces. Plant Disease. 97:882-890.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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