Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research
Project Number: 6635-21000-047-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated
Start Date: May 14, 2008
End Date: Apr 10, 2013
Acquire, propagate, and conserve tropical/subtropical crop genetic resources and associated information. Apply new or improved horticultural characterization procedures and genetic marker-based approaches for genetic diversity assessment. Apply new or improved procedures for evaluating tropical/subtropical genetic resources for host-plant resistance to high-priority diseases. Distribute tropical/subtropical crop genetic resources and transfer technologies through GRIN database, internet pages, and scientific publications.
Acquisition of new germplasm determined by results from the characterization and evaluation research and from consultations with other crop curators, industry representatives, and members of the Tropical Fruit and Nut Crop Germplasm Committee so as to fill genetic gaps in the collections. Priorities for new germplasm include disease resistant and/or productive accessions. Characterization efforts focus on passport, phenotypic and genotypic descriptors, and evaluation data as well as molecular approaches to determine genetic diversity baselines and horticultural identity. Development of in vitro, medium-term storage techniques for Musa sp. to increase efficiency of propagation and conservation, facilitate distribution and reduce risk of pathogen dissemination. Clonal materials in collections are propagated by grafting or from rhizomes and conserved in field collections. Collections are backed up at other sites to prevent germplasm loss from natural disasters. Field evaluations of potentially disease resistant germplasm are carried out for mango, papaya and Musa sp.