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2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), operates the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), a network of plant genetic resources repositories, research stations, and service elements which maintain, regenerate, characterize, document, preserve, and distribute germplasm under USDA policies to research scientists all over the world. ARS has established a storage facility at its National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP), in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the long-term preservation of plant germplasm at the highest level of viability and genetic integrity, with the aim of ensuring a secure supply of plant genetic resources for current and future use. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), has a mission that encompasses research, education, and public service, including the conservation of plant genetic resources. The main objective of this research project is to continue long-term cooperation with IRRI within the framework of the NPGS by preserving plant germplasm samples to guarantee their conservation and safety at the NCGRP.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
IRRI operates the International Rice Genebank (IRG) as part of its Genetic Resources Center (GRC), and has an obligation to ensure the safe long-term preservation and world-wide distribution of rice germplasm to the highest international standards. IRRI wishes to maintain a copy of its germplasm collection off-site as a Safety Backup for insurance against loss or destruction of the primary collection in IRRI. The NCGRP and IRRI share common interests and objectives in collecting, preserving, utilizing, and exchanging plant genetic resources. Both parties will continue their cooperation and exchange of information and plant materials, commencing with the preservation of seeds of Oryza sativa (rice), and the wild relatives of rice that serve their mutual conservation interests.

3. Progress Report:
Although no additional samples were received in FY12, this project has resulted in the secure back-up storage of over 110,000 rice accessions, and a collaboration on the testing of the long-term viability of rice seed at -20C storage, which resulted in a peer-reviewed publication. This research clearly confirms that rice seed can be stored long-term at -20C and indicated that most accessions may have a longer viability in storage than originally thought.

4. Accomplishments