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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

2013 Annual Report

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:
This project was terminated in March of 2013 and replaced with project 5348-21000-028-00D, "Management of Plant Genetic Resources and Associated Information". 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. This Project successfully accomplished its goals and was terminated in March, 2013. The major achievements during the past five years included 1) More diverse plant genetic resources and associated information are available to researchers worldwide. During the project cycle (2008-2013), six international and five domestic explorations were undertaken to collect targeted crop and wild species. We acquired 11,724 new accessions of needed plant germplasm for our collection. These newly introduced resources are being used by researchers and breeders. Examples worth mentioning included 28 accessions of rubber weed (Russian dandelion) collected from Kazakhstan, being used by ARS at Albany, California, and Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio, for developing a new industrial crop for rubber production; wild lettuce accessions recently acquired from Armenia, Georgia and Russia, being used in UC Davis and ARS Salinas, California, as new sources of partial resistance to Verticillium wilt, a serious soil-borne fungal disease threatening the lettuce industry; and new grass accessions collected from Italy and western US rangelands, being used in the Great Basin revegetation project funded by the Bureau of Land Management, US Department of the Interior. We collected and uploaded a total of 243,572 observation data points for a wide range of crop plant species into the GRIN (Genetic Resource Information Network) database, which is accessible by researchers worldwide. 2) The Pullman plant genetic resources are playing a substantial role in the global research community working towards securing food supply for the expanding world population in an unpredictable climate. During the project cycle, over 3,000 researchers in 65 foreign countries and 50 domestic states requested and received 146,912 packets of seed samples for use in their research projects. We regenerated/increased the seeds of over 10,000 accessions for continued distribution and for secured backup at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway. And 3) Genetically enhanced germplasm lines developed in Pullman are being used in plant breeding. ARS researchers released 13 useful breeding lines including three winter-hardy safflower lines, three Fusarium root rot resistant green pea lines and seven Aphanomyces rot root tolerant green pea lines.

4. Accomplishments
1. Identifying faba bean accession with high L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues. Faba bean is one of the few plant species that can produce the medicinally important component, L-3,4-dihydroxy phenylaianine (L-DOPA), which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. An ARS researcher at Pullman, Washington, in collaboration with Washington State University, investigated and found a significant variation of L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues of six faba bean accessions with common and rare flower colors. The accession with high L-DOPA concentration in the leaf and flower tissues is potentially useful for pharmaceutical purposes. This natural remedy can potentially offer an additional alternative to improve life quality of the patients suffering with Parkinson's disease (approximately one million in the US and five million worldwide).

2. Development of genetic resources highly tolerant to Apphanomyces root rot of pea. Aphanomyces root rot in pea is a devastating disease worldwide. ARS scientists at Pullman, Washington, with collaborators, developed and released breeding lines with high levels of tolerance to Aphanomyces root rot. They also published a suite of DNA markers for use in marker-assisted selection to breed for tolerance to Aphanomyces root rot in pea. Both the released lines and the published markers will expedite the breeding progress in public and private pea breeding programs to achieve economic levels of tolerance to this serious disease. Successfully incorporating the high level resistance into cultivars will increase the yield of pea crops in the Apphanomyces-affected areas worldwide

Review Publications
Dugan, F.M. 2013. Golovinomyces spadaceus causing powdery mildew on Coreopsis hybrid 'Full Moon' (Heliantheae, Asteraceae) in Washington State. North American Fungi. 8(1):1-3.

Lupien, S.L., Hellier, B.C., Dugan, F.M., Skoglund, L., Ward, K. 2013. White rot of garlic and onion (Causal agent, Sclerotium cepivorum): A status report from the Pacific Northwest. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-2013-0619-01-RV.

Alomran, M.M., Lupien, S.L., Coyne, C.J., Dugan, F.M. 2013. Mycobiota of Lupinus albus seed from a public germplasm collection. North American Fungi. 8(4):1-15.

St. Clair, J., Kilkenny, F., Johnson, R.C., Shaw, N., Weaver, G. 2013. Genetic variation in adaptive traits and seed transfer zones for Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch wheatgrass) in the northwestern United States. Evolutionary Applications. Evol. Appl.: doi:10.1111/eva.12077.

Hamon, C., Coyne, C.J., Mcgee, R.J., Lesné, A., Esnault, R., Mangin, P., Hervé,, M., Le Goff, I., Deniot, G., Roux-Duparque, M., Morin, G., Mcphee, K. 2013. QTL meta-analysis provides a comprehensive view of loci controlling partial resistance to Aphanomyces euteiches in four sources of resistance in pea. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 13:45. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-45

Coyne, C.J., Mcgee, R.J. 2013. Lentil genetic and genomic resources. In:Elsevier Insights, London. p. 157-180.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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