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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

2009 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

3. Progress Report
The National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) presently holds 135,910 accessions of the small grains (wheat, barley, oat, rye, triticale, rice, and related wild species). More than 350 accessions of wild oat (Avena) species from Morocco were added to NSGC. Laboratory analysis for wheat kernel color and weight continues using an instrument that produces precise color data (Foss GrainCheck 2312).

4. Accomplishments
1. National Small Grain Center (NSGC) Germplasm Distributed to Scientists. In order to develop improved grains, germplasm must be widely available to breeders and farmers. More than 50,000 NSGC seed samples were distributed from the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility, Aberdeen, Idaho, to scientists in more than 700 separate requests. One-third of the requests were from scientists outside the U.S. Seed was distributed for research purposes and for germplasm enhancement, including the development of new, improved cultivars for release to farmers. This germplasm provides the basis of small grains improvement.

2. Title: Wheat kernel data entered into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). What breeders need across to seed kernel characteristics of wheat germplasm. Precise, quantitative kernel color and 1000-kernel weight data for more than 8,000 NSGC wheat accessions were obtained in the laboratory at the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility, Aberdeen, Idaho. Data are available to scientists worldwide on GRIN. Identifying the genetic variability for these wheat kernel characters will aid breeders in choosing appropriate parents. New wheat cultivars may be developed utilizing this information and germplasm.

5. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Germplasm in the NSGC is available to all socio-economic classes.

Review Publications
Costa, J.M., Griffey, C.A., Bockelman, H.E., Cambron, S.E., Cooper, A., Graybosch, R.A., Grybauskas, A., Kratochvil, R.J., Jin, Y., Marshall, D.S. 2007. Registration of 'Chesapeake' Wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 1:26-27.

Goates, B., Mercier, J. 2009. Effect of biofumigation with volatiles from Muscodor albus on the viability of Tilletia spp. teliospores. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 2009. Can. J. Microbiol. 55:203-206.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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