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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Strategically expand the genetic diversity in genebank collections and improve associated information for priority vegetable, sorghum, peanut, subtropical/tropical legume, and warm-season grass genetic resources. Conserve and regenerate priority vegetable, sorghum, peanut, subtropical/tropical legume, new crop, and warm-season grass genetic resources efficiently and effectively, and distribute pathogen-tested samples and associated information worldwide. Strategically characterize (“genotype”) and evaluate (“phenotype”) priority vegetable, sorghum, peanut, subtropical/tropical legume, and warm-season grass genetic resources for molecular markers, morphological descriptors, and key agronomic or horticultural traits such as biochemical content and product quality. Conserve, regenerate, and distribute germplasm of specialty crops, current or potential bioenergy crops (e.g., sweet sorghum, switch grass, and Miscanthus), and new genetic stocks generated by genomic research (e.g., assocition mapping projects) with sorghum and other crops.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Acquire samples of native warm-season grasses, bioenergy crops, subtropical legumes, Ipomoea species, chile pepper, and annual clovers to fill current gaps in NPGS collections. Survey existing holdings of sorghum genetic stocks, identify material that would fill gaps in NPGS collections, and begin acquiring and characterizing them. Conserve and distribute genomic research genetic stocks including association mapping populations of sorghum and other crops. Regenerate, conserve, and distribute more than 88,000 accessions of specialty crops, bioenergy crops, and other priority genetic resources and associated information. Increase the number of sweetpotato and warm-season grass clonal accessions maintained in tissue culture. Increase to 95 percent the proportion of the collection backed up at second sites. Develop superior regeneration methods for seed and clonally-propagated crops. Assay stored genetic resources for vigor, viability, and health. Distribute on request accessions and information that meet the specific needs of researchers and breeders. Develop and apply new genetic markers for phylogenetic and genetic diversity analyses of priority crops. Update and apply phenotypic descriptors for vegetables, peanuts, warm-season grasses, and subtropical/tropical legumes. Develop, enhance, and/or apply high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) procedures for analyzing variation in flavonoids, antioxidants, capsaicin, and other key phytochemicals in accessions. Incorporate characterization, phenotypic, and biochemical data into GRIN and/or other databases.

3. Progress Report:
This is the final report for Project Number 6607-21000-010-00D, entitled “Conservation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Crop Genetic Resources and Associated Information”; replaced by project 6607-21000-011-00D. During the five years of this project, the Griffin plant genetic resources collection increased from 88,270 accessions and 1,490 plant species to 92,180 accessions and 1,553 plant species. Availability improved slightly (87.3 to 87.9%) and security back up at a second location also improved (94.3 to 96.6%). Bulk seed samples of accessions maintained for long-term storage in -18 C improved (65% to 75%). Storing most seed in -18 C rather than 4 C improves long term viability and permits better retention of genetic variability for users. A total of 50,930 accessions were distributed to users in 74 foreign countries and 121,687 accessions were distributed to users in all 50 states. Four plant collection trips were conducted in the southern U.S. acquiring native switchgrass, naturalized Sorghum halepense, and other native warm-season grasses for the collection. Germination testing of accessions, first initiated at Griffin in 2002, improved from 51.4% of accessions tested to 84.4% of accessions tested. The number of images in GRIN of Griffin accessions increased from 9,800 to 18,600 and over 7.2 million data points were added to GRIN during this project. Seed regenerations and characterizations were conducted on over 6,300 peanut, cowpea, warm-season grass, pepper, watermelon, legume, new, and misc. crop, annual clover, and other vegetable accessions as well as several thousand sorghum accessions regenerated by cooperators in Puerto Rico and St. Croix. Long-term maintenance of several hundred wild peanut and warm-season grass clonal accessions was continued in the greenhouse. Several bermudagrass and over 720 sweetpotato accessions were maintained in tissue culture. A new method was developed to detect high oleic acid peanuts from seed or leaf tissue and was utilized to detect specific genotypes in peanut breeding. Genetic diversity was detected for flavonoids in Hibiscus species; capsaicin and capsiate in chile peppers; glucose and cellulosic traits in sunn hemp; salt tolerance and ploidy level in seashore paspalum; and salt tolerance in zoysia. The sweetpotato collection was screened for sweetpotato leaf curl virus and distribution of infected clones was restricted. Several or all accessions of the peanut mini-core, okra, sesame, castor bean, watermelon, lablab, pumpkin species, hibiscus, desmodium, and chile pepper collections were evaluated for oil content, fatty acid composition, and/or antioxidant compounds and data was added to GRIN. Alternate regeneration techniques were conducted on photoperiod-sensitive accessions using greenhouse, hydroponic, and aeroponic techniques. In cooperation with industry, differential sets of four vegetable crops were distributed to researchers for identification of disease races.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Wang, M.L., Xin, Z., Tonnis, B.D., Farrell, G., Pinnow, D.L., Chen, Z., Davis, J., Yu, J., Hung, Y., Pederson, G.A. 2012. Evaluation of sweet sorghum as a feedstock by multiple harvests for sustainable bioenergy production. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems (JSBS). 2:122-137.

Morris, J.B., Antonious, G. 2013. Glucose, stem dry weight variation, principal component and cluster analysis for some agronomic traits among 16 regenerated Crotalaria juncea accessions for potential cellulosic ethanol. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. 48(3):214-218.

Jarret, R.L., Levy, I.J., Potter, T.L., Cermak, S.C. 2013. Seed oil and fatty acid composition in Capsicum spp. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 30(2):102-108.

Morris, J.B., Wang, M.L., Tonnis, B.D. 2013. Variability of phenotype, anthocyanin indexes, and flavonoids in accessions from a close relative of soybean, Neontonia wightii (Wright & Arn. J.A. Lackey) in the U.S. germplasm collection for potential use as a health forage. In: El-Shemy, Hany A., editor.Soybean Bio-Active Compounds. Rijeka,Croatia:Intech. p.375-386.

Jarret, R.L., Levy, I.J., Potter, T.L., Cermak, S.C., Merrick, L.C. 2013. Seed oil content and fatty acid composition in a genebank collection of Cucurbita moschata Duchesne and C. argyrosperma C. Huber. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization. 11:149-157.

Wang, J., Wang, M.L., Spiertz, J., Liu, Z., Han, L., Xie, G. 2013. Genetic variation in yield and chemical composition of wide range of sorghum accessions grown in north-west China. Research on Crops (an International Journal). 14(1):95-105.

Xin, Z., Wang, M.L., Chopra, S., Wang, P. 2013. Gene Mutagensis Systems and Resources for the Saccharinae. In: Patterson, A.H., editor. Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models. New York, NY:Springer Publishing Company. 11:p. 169-185.

Morris, J.B., Grusak, M.A., Wang, M.L., Tonnis, B.D. 2013. Mineral, flavonoid, and fatty acid concentrations in ten diverse Lablab purpureus (L.) sweet accessions. In: Kuang, H., editor. Phytochemicals: Occurence in Nature, Health Effects and Antioxidant Properties. New York, NY, Nova Publishers. p. 219-224.

Morris, J.B. 2012. Showy partridge pea [Chamaecrista fasciculate (Michx.) Greene] with potential for cultivation as a multi-functional species in the United States. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 59:1577-1581.

Barthe, S., Gugerli, F., Barkley, N.L., Maggia, L., Cardi, C., Scotti, I. 2012. Always look on both sides: Phylogenetic information conveyed by simple sequence repeat allele sequences. PLoS One. 7(7):e40699. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040699.

Liu, J., Wang, M.L., Tonnis, B.D., Habteselassie, M., Liao, X., Huang, Q. 2012. Fungal pretreatment of switchgrass for improved saccharification and simultaneous enzyme production. Bioresource Technology. 135:39-45.

Wang, M.L., Chen, C.Y., Tonnis, B.D., Barkley, N.L., Pinnow, D.L., Pittman, R.N., Davis, J., Holbrook Jr, C.C., Stalker, H., Pederson, G.A. 2013. Oil, fatty acid, flavonoid, and resveratrol content variability in FAD2A functional SNP genotypes in the U.S. peanut mini-core collection. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 61:2875-2882.

Morris, J.B., Wang, M.L., Grusak, M.A., Tonnis, B.D. 2013. Fatty acid, flavonol, and mineral composition variability among seven macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) verdc. accessions. Agriculture 2013. 3(1):157-169.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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