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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Expand support for foreign and domestic plant explorations, exchanges and associated benefit-sharing projects focused on acquiring wild relatives of crops and traditional landraces underrepresented in NPGS collections.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Revise and distribute guidelines for plant exploration/exchange proposal preparation and exploration/exchange execution. Provide guidance to scientists on proposal preparation, trip planning, collecting permits, documentation of collections, collecting protocols, recommended equipment and other matters. Coordinate review of proposals and arrange for funding of approved explorations/exchanges. Communicate with foreign government authorities to negotiate terms on access to genetic resources. Identify specific projects to serve as benefit sharing for foreign explorations. Develop agreements, such as Material Transfer Agreements, with foreign governments to specify terms of access and benefit sharing. Assist explorers with complying with Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plant import regulations. Coordinate introduction of material requiring quarantine with the APHIS Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program. Use the Plant Exploration Tracking System to track incorporation of collected germplasm into the NPGS, submission of reports, and entry of passport data into Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

3. Progress Report:
Over the life of the project, a total of 73 explorations and four exchange expeditions were completed in the United States and/or foreign countries. All foreign explorations were conducted in accordance with host country laws on access to genetic resources and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Crops for which germplasm was collected include bean, cotton, grasses, forage legumes, leafy vegetables, small and tree fruits, new crops, nuts, potato, sunflower, tomato, wheat, woody and herbaceous landscape plants. Germplasm was deposited in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and host country institutions. Several types of benefit sharing with host countries, including purchase of equipment, training of scientists, and upgrade of genebank facilities, were implemented. The acquired accessions are new sources of genetic diversity that are already, or soon will be, available for crop improvement and other research in the U.S. and worldwide.

4. Accomplishments
1. From October 2012 until April 2013, when this project was terminated, thirteen plant explorations were approved and funded. During the reporting period, four explorations occurred, one in Albania and three in the United States. Germplasm collected included fruits, nuts, sunflower, ash and woody ornamentals. Additional explorations took place after this project terminated and are covered by the report for the project that succeeded this one. The acquired accessions are new and well-documented sources of genetic diversity that have been added to the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and will soon be available to breeders and other researchers worldwide.

Review Publications
Moore, G., Williams, K.A. 2011. Legal issues in plant germplasm collecting. Collecting Plant Genetic Diversity: Technical Guidelines. Available:

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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