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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository

2009 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Strategically expand and improve genetic resource collections and associated information for priority fruit, nut, and other specialty temperate climate crops (and their wild relatives), especially, hazelnut, strawberries, hop, mint, pear, currants, gooseberries, brambles, blueberries, cranberries, hardy kiwifruit, and other small fruits. Strategically characterize, genotype and phenotype, priority fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources adapted to temperate climates for key traits such as genetic variability, adaptation, product quality, and other horticultural traits. Efficiently and effectively conserve and regenerate priority fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources adapted to temperate climates, and distribute disease-free samples and associated information worldwide.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Plant exploration expeditions will be taken in North Africa, Central Asia, Northern Europe for pome fruit and in China, Japan, Russia, Korea, Central and South America for berry crops. Plants from these areas will fill current gaps. Collecting trips will occur in collaboration with foreign scientist and quarantine officials. Horticultural and botanical experts in taxonomy will be consulted to verify the identity of accessions. Primary collections of woody plants will be maintained in field collections. Primary collections of herbacious perennial genera will be maintained in a screenhouse and repropagated as scheduled. Duplicate plants will be maintained on site. Available plant materials will be distributed for research purposes. Backup hazelnut collection will be maintained in Parlier, California. Backup of small fruit, mint, and hop will occur on site. Tropical or sub tropical accessions will be protected from temperature extremes. Core collections will be propagated in vitro and in cryogenic storage at NCGRP, Fort Collins. Primary collections will be tested for pathogens and infected accessions will be subjected to therapy procedures to develop pathogen free replacments. Microsatellite fingerprinting sets will be used to evaluate genetic diversity and determine clonal identity of blueberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, and pears. Clonal collections will be evaluated for high priority phenotypic characters including phenology, plant habit, fruit characters, and incidence of naturally occurring disease. Molecular and phenotypic information will be loaded to the public GRIN database. Formerly 5358-21000-033-00D (3/08).

3. Progress Report
This report serves to document the research conducted under the project 5358-21000-038-00D, Management of Temperate Adapted Fruit Nut and Specialty Crop Genetic Resources and Associated Information. New plant material was acquired from Azerbaijan, Germany, Kyrgystan, South Korea and the United States. More than 10,000 plant and accessions were maintained at the Corvallis Repository Genebank. Plant material was backed-up in tissue cultures and in cryogenic preservation locally and in the remote collection of Ft. Collins, CO. Improved protocols for tissue culture and cryogenics of temperate fruit crops were developed. More than 5,000 accessions were distributed in the past year. Phenotypic and genotypic plant information was loaded to the Germplasm Resources Information Network. Blueberries were tested for scorch and shock viruses. Phytoplasma testing was continued on strawberry and hop. The hazelnut collection was monitored for, and protected from, eastern filbert blight. The Repository was certified free of sudden oak death. Identities of hazelnuts, blueberries, hops, pears, and strawberries were determined by molecular marker technology of simple sequence repeated DNA. More than 15 physically or mentally challenged individuals were trained or worked at the Corvallis Repository Genebank during the previous year. Four graduate students were trained through cooperative programs with Oregon State University.

4. Accomplishments
1. Genetic Resource Conservation of Fruit and Nut Crops. Genetic resources of temperate fruit, nut and specialty crop germplasm need to be acquired, maintained and preserved for food security with access for researchers and breeders who are developing new crops. During FY 2009, ARS scientists at the Corvallis Repository Genebank in Corvallis, OR preserved more than 10,000 living plant and seed accessions of 30 genera of fruit and nut crops. New germplasm was acquired from Azerbaijan, Germany, South Korea, and the United States. Seven seedlots of strawberries were regenerated. More than 5,000 accessions were distributed in the year. These plant distributions provide research material for international geneticists for crop improvement and genetic study, for nurserymen for new fruit crop sales and distribution, for hobbyists, and the general public for the preservation of heritage cultivars and unusual species types.

2. Backup of Plant Genetic Resources of Fruit and Nut Crops. If only one copy of a plant genotype is preserved in a genebank, it is vulnerable to disease, climate change or disasters, and could be lost for future scientific access. The scientists at the Corvallis Repository Genebank at Corvallis, OR are working with those at NCGRP in Ft. Collins, CO, and in Parlier, CA, to backup active collections using whole plants, tissue cultures and cryogenic preservation (long term freezing). A backup clean hazelnut orchard in Parlier, CA, maintains a back-up of 125 trees. Seeds and tissue cultures of hazelnuts, strawberries, hop, mint, pears, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and lingonberries have been sent for long-term storage at Ft. Collins. Improved tissue culture and cryogenic protocols have been developed in Corvallis. Backup collections of these invaluable plant genetic resources provide insurance against loss of primary collections due to insects, weather or disease, keeping the plants available for improving American agriculture now and in the future.

3. Pathogen Detection and Elimination in Germplasm collection. Diseases for fruit and nuts are spreading within the United States, and new diseases are being discovered and there is a need to identify emergence of any new diseases. No eastern filbert blight has been detected by ARS scientists at the Corvallis Repository Genebank in Corvallis, OR, although the disease is in fields less than 2 miles away. The screenhouse blueberries were tested and found free of scorch and shock viruses. The Corvallis Repository continues to be certified free of Sudden oak death this disease by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Testing and disease free certifications allow the plant materials of the repository to be freely exchanged without worry of spreading diseases.

4. Genotype and Phenotype Evaluation and Identification of Genetic Resources of Fruits. Researchers, nurserymen, and growers are in need of descriptive evaluation and identity confirmation of genetic resources. Genetic profiles, morphological characters, cold hardiness evaluation and disease resistance were evaluated by ARS scientists in Corvallis, OR for crops at the repository. These data were added to the publicly accessible US national germplasm database (GRIN). These data provide information to breeders, growers and nurserymen so that they can better utilize the available plant germplasm in our collection.

Review Publications
Bassil, N.V., Lewers, K.S. 2009. Genomics Opportunities, New Crops and New Products. In: Kevin M. Folta, Susan E. Gardiner. Genetics and Genomics of Rosaceae. New York,NY:Springer-Verlag, LLC. Chapter 3 p.55-70.

Hinrichsen, P., M. Herminia, C., Ravest, G., Rojas, G., Mendez, M., Bassil, N.V., Munoz, C. 2009. Minimal Microsatellite Marker Panel for Fingerprinting Blueberry Cultivars. Acta Horticulturae. Acta Horticulturae. 810:173-180.

Hall, H., Hummer, K.E., Jaimieson, A., Jennings, S., Weber, C. 2009. Plant Breeding Reviews:Raspberry Breeding and Genetics. New Jersey:Wiley Blackwell. 32:39-382

Hummer, K.E., Hall, H. 2009. Dedication: Hugh Daubeny, Berry Breeder and Enthusiast Extraordinaire. In: Janick, J. Plant Breeding Reviews Volume 32. Raspberry Breeding and Genetics. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p.1-37.

Hummer, K.E., Postman, J.D. 2008. Pyrus L. Pear. In: Bonner, F.T. and Karrfalt, R.P., editors. The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. p. 922-927.

Bassil, N.V., Hummer, K.E., Postman, J.D., Fazio, G., Baldo, A.M., Armas, I., Williams, R. 2008. Nomenclature and Genetic Relationships of Apples and Pears from Terceira Island. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (2009). 56:339-352.

Postman, J.D., Oliphant, J.M., Hummer, K.E. 2009. Diseases Impact Management of USDA Clonal Vaccinium Genebank. Acta Horticulturae. 810:319-324.

Uchendu, E., Reed, B.M. 2009. Desiccation Tolerance and Cryopreservation of In-Vitro Grown Blueberry and Cranberry Shoot Tips. Acta Horticulturae. 810:567-574.

Peredo, E.L., Arroyo-Garcia, R., Reed, B.M., Revilla, M. 2008. Genetic and Epigenetic Stability of Cryopreserved and Cold-Stored Hops. Cryobiology.57(2008)234-241.

Hummer, K.E., Nathewet, P., Yanagi, T. 2008. Decaploidy in Fragaria Iturupensis Staudt (Rosaceae). American Journal of Botany. 96(3)713-716.

Hummer, K.E., Williams, R., Mota, J. 2009. Pests of Blueberries on Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal. Acta Horticulturae. 810:287-292.

Hummer, K.E., Strik, B.C., Finn, C.E. 2009. Proceedings of the Ninth International Vaccinium Symposium Vol.2. International Society of Horticultural Science Proceedings. 810(2):439-909.

Hummer, K.E., Strik, B.C., Finn, C.E. 2009. Proceedings of the Ninth International Vaccinium Symposium Vol. 1. International Society of Horticultural Science Proceedings. 810(1):1-438.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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