1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Strategically expand the genetic diversity in genebank collections and improve associated information for priority cool season food and forage legume, turf and forage grass, native rangeland, oilseed, vegetable, medicinal, ornamental, and other specialty and industrial crop genetic resources. Objective 2: Conserve and regenerate priority cool season food and forage legume, turf and forage grass, native rangeland, oilseed, vegetable, medicinal, ornamental, and other specialty and industrial crop genetic resources efficiently and effectively, and distribute samples and associated information worldwide. Objective 3: Strategically characterize (“genotype”) and evaluate (“phenotype”) crop core subsets and other priority germplasm for molecular markers, morphological descriptors, and key agronomic or horticultural traits, such as general adaptation, phenology, and growth potential. Objective 4: Develop genetically-enhanced populations of priority crops to broaden the genetic base of breeding genepools. Objective 5: Conserve, regenerate, and distribute germplasm of specialty crops, current or potential bioenergy crops (e.g., Brachypodium, other cool-season grasses), and new stocks generated by genome sequencing and other genomic resarch with Brachypodium, Medicago truncatula, peas, and lettuce.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Plan and conduct both traditional as well as new and innovative activities to acquire, store, regenerate, evaluate/characterize, and distribute plant germplasm assigned to this project. Also, develop new conservation and preservation protocols that enable long-term genetic security. Prepare and publish appropriate articles, peer reviewed manuscripts and Internet (Germplasm Resources Information Network) data sets for the germplasm user community. Conduct research programs on molecular characterization of selected collections; the impact/use of insects as pests, pollinators and/or biological control agents; the interaction of fungi as plant disease organisms or plant mycosymbionts; and the physiological aspects of seed production relative to seed preservation and long-term storage.
3. Progress Report:
Progress was made on all four objectives and their subobjectives, all of which fall under National Program 301, Plant Genetic Resources, Genomics, and Genetics Improvement. Progress on this project focuses on Problem Statement 1A: Efficiently and Effectively Manage Plant and Microbial Genetic Resources. Plant genetic resources are critical to ensure continued genetic improvement of crop productivity. During FY 2012, Western Region Plant Introduction Station (WRPIS) scientists and curators successfully acquired 3,103 new accessions to add to the collection. As of August 6, 2012, the WRPIS collection included 92,077 accessions belonging to 4,217 species (4,720 taxa) in 955 genera. We continued to supply the global plant research community with high quality seed samples for both applied and basic research. Last year, a total of 30,033 seed packets were distributed to 928 requesters in 45 countries and 50 US States. We regenerated/harvested 3,750 inventories of a broad range of plant species. The seeds were packed and stored and the quantity by weight was determined for 4,737 inventories. We shipped 2,246 seed inventories to the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, Colorado, and 421 inventories to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway for secured backup. Significant progress in evaluation and characterization of priority crop germplasm continued over the past year. Our curators uploaded to the GRIN database a total of 35,499 observation data points for 161 descriptors in 19 crop species from 9,393 accessions. Eighty-eight percent of the data were collected by WRPIS staff and 12% by collaborators. In FY 2012, ARS scientists demonstrated that fall planted winter-type safflower has the potential to substantially increase seed production compared to spring-types. The result of seven year-location combinations indicated 66% or more yield increase when the winter adapted safflower was fall planted. A map was developed and of 12 seed zones of Indian ricegrass based on phenology, production, and morphology traits measured over two years. This map is recommended to guide and broaden germplasm collection and utilization for Indian ricegrass restoration in the southwestern US. ARS scientists in collaboration with a laboratory at University of Arizona, identified new species and clarified some phylogenetic relationships of pathogenic fungi using DNA sequence information and morpho-cultural characteristics. An ARS scientist in collaboration with University of California at Davis, genotyped the cultivated lettuce germplasm collection with a high-throughput assay targeting 384 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) markers. The result will help the, WRPIS to eliminate redundancy in the US lettuce collection and save resources for storage, regeneration and data management in the future.
Kwon, S.J., Truco, M., Hu, J. 2012. LSGermOPA, a custom OPA of 384 EST-derived SNPs for high-throughput lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) germplasm fingerprinting. Molecular Breeding. Volume 29, Issue 4, Page 887-901.