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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service



2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1)Strategically expand the genetic diversity in selected genebank collections and improve associated information for priority genetic resources of crops, crop varieties, and native plant genetic resources adapted to long-season and/or arid land conditions. 1A) Acquire samples and associated information for Parthenium (Guayule), Lesquerella (bladderpod), Limnanthes (meadow foam), and Simmondsia (jojoba) from selected sites in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South American countries, that will fit current gaps in NPGS collections. 1B) In cooperation with the state and federal governments in the Southwest U.S. and relevant state rare plant societies identify and establish in situ seed collection sites for endemic species of Parthenium, Lesquerella and Limnanthes. 2) In collaboration with other NPGS sites, efficiently and effectively regenerate and conserve priority crops and native plant genetic resources adapted to long-season and/or arid land conditions, and distribute samples and associated information worldwide. 2A) Conserve and distribute 1,583 accessions of oilseed, vegetable, medicinal, industrial crop genetic resources adapted to arid climates, emphasizing Parthenium, Lesquerella, Limnanthes, and Simmondsia. 2B) Continue to regenerate the accessions from other NPGS sites, and clonal and seed propagated accessions for Parlier priority crops, emphasizing accessions with low germination, low seed supply, open-pollinated seed stocks, those lacking security back-up or those designated by the primary NPGS curator as important, and continue to develop new and/or superior regenerations methods. Regenerate 1,000-1,500 accessions per year of Parthenium, Lesquerella, Limnanthes, Simmondsia and other NPGS site species that are in need of new seed or back-up at second sites, emphasizing critical back-ups of Parthenium, Lesquerella and Limnanthes. 3) In collaboration with other NPGS sites, strategically characterize (genotype) and evaluate (phenotype) selected priority crop genetic resources for DNA markers, morphological descriptors, and key agronomic or horticultural traits, and incorporate characterization and evaluation data into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) and/or other relevant databases. 3A) With cooperaters, apply newly developed DNA marker data to phylogenetic and genetic diversity analyses of priority crops, especially Parthenium, Limnanthes and Lesquerella. Incorporate characterization data into the GRIN and/or other databases. 3B) Conduct cooperative research to update and apply phenotypic descriptors for priority collections with an emphasis on morphological and horticultural traits, such as key floral, fruit, and seed characteristics as well as characterizing industrial or other value relative to features related to adaptation to arid land conditions.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1)Make critical evaluation of the collections now held at Parlier, and prioritize the intrinsic value of each collection relative to the resources available. New accessions will be aquired through exchange with other scientists in the universities and/or institutions, foreign countries national programs, botanical gardens, or by plant exploration. Initiate the ground surveys of vernal pools in California to identify key areas where in situ conservations sites can be designed for multiple species of Limnanthes. Identify populations of Parthenium and Lesquerella in the Southwest U.S. such that future seed and/or DNA sample acquisitions will be possible. 2) Relevant information, available passport documentation and germplasm characterization data collected according to proposed or established descriptors for priority taxa grown for other NPGS sites will be summarized and provided to GRIN. Regeneration and back-up of seed and/or clonal germplasm accessions from other NPGS sites will be continued and expanded in accordance with protocols agreed upon by the Parlier curator and the NPGS curators responsible for the crop. Establishment of viable back-up plots at other sites and/or the development of effective protocols will be the initial priority. Emphasis on germplasm regeneration and management schedules to enhance security back-ups will take place at NCGRP. Selected accessions assigned to other NPGS sites that require or are adapted to arid land, long season conditions for growth and reproduction will be regenerated at Parlier. 3) DNA will be isolated from bulked samples of the major out breeding collections using a standard CTAB protocol. Genetic diversity studies will be conducted with PCR-based markers. SSR markers will be used where they are available or where development of these markers is possible.

3. Progress Report
During FY11, 2224 climate-specific accessions were regenerated at NALPGRU at the request of curators from Aberdeen ID (1842 cereals), Pullman WA (320 garlics, 10 lupins, 1 cumin), Ames IA (31 sunflowers, 3 Daleas), and Griffin GA (17 cucurbits). The number of accessions regenerated for other sites more than doubled this year; this was due to the increase in the number of cereal accessions. A collection of breeding material of Physaria/Paysonia was donated by an ARS Research Geneticist in Fort Collins, CO. The seeds need to be tested and those viable regenerated in the field. Seven new accessions of Opuntia were donated to NALPGRU; 4 of them are, presumably, Opuntia joconostle, a new species for the collection and the preferred species by people of Mexican heritage to treat hyperglycemia. The other two Opuntia megacanthas are valuable clones that were part of the TAMUK (Texas A&M) breeding collection but were absent in previously donated material. The last one is new accession of Opuntia robusta donated by a rare fruit grower. 16 new accessions of Physaria fendleri were entered in GRIN as part of the collection and are being regenerated for the first time. Maintenance pruning of the older part of the Simmondsia collection was done. The Parthenium, Bassia, and Atriplex collections were also pruned and cleaned from old material and debris. Efforts to maintain the integrity of the Parlier collections continued this year. In FY11, inventories of the perennials saltbush (Atriplex spp.), guayule (Parthenium spp.) and jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and the annuals, buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima), bladderpod (Physaria and Paysonia spp.), meadowfoam (Limnanthes spp.) and devil’s claw (Proboscidea spp.) were surveyed to determine which accessions needed urgent regeneration both for maintenance of germplasm and for distribution. 45 accessions of jojoba collected in 1957/8 and 38 old accessions of guayule which were never regenerated were tested and found to be not viable. The selfed seeds of 49 accessions of guayule were harvested, tested and made available for requests. A number of accessions were planted in the field, 49 bladderpods, 19 meadowfoams, 13 buffalo gourds, 13 saltbushes, 14 devil’s claws, and 1 yucca. Available commercial cultivators did not properly accomplish weed cultivation in plots of perennial plants in the Parlier, CA, germplasm collection because they disturb the soil greatly and they do not fit the rows which are narrower than in regular fields. Therefore a prototype rotary cultivator was developed to facilitate weeding and save manual labor. The uniqueness of design and assembly of parts warranted consideration by OTT to patent the invention. An MTA was already in place but the previous company had to withdraw due to lack of funds and a new MTA was put in place with L&H Manufacturing, Selma, CA. The in-row cultivator has the advantage of creating little disturbance in the soil so it will be further modified by L&H Manufacturing to be used in vineyards, one of the main crops in the San Joaquin Valley.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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