Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #434218

Research Project: Seed Increase, Evaluation, and Phytosanitary Assessment of Quarantined and Tropically-adapted Genetic Resources

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

2018 Annual Report

Objective 1. Efficiently and effectively regenerate under quarantine, and under tropical, equatorial conditions, genetic resources of grain, legume, and vegetable crops to maintain their safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability. Following seed increase and/or quarantine assessment, release seed supplies of those genetic resources to other USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) genebanks for maintenance and distribution. Objective 2. Characterize and evaluate for priority traits the genetic resources of grain, legume, and, vegetable crops regenerated for seed increase and/or quarantine assessment. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data via Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)-Global and other data sources.

Select and treat seed for freedom of signs and symptoms of pathogens; conduct annual disease surveys; inspect and verify status of plants (PPQ); grow quarantined and/or photoperiod-sensitive crops, report new diseases, maintain low pest levels, bag heads prior to anthesis; identify diseases and take regulatory action; record key descriptor information for entry into Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), harvest seed and examine for disease symptoms; and return seed to National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS).

Progress Report
This report documents progress for Project Number 6090-21000-056-00D, which started in February 2018 and continues research from Project Number 6090-21000-052-00D, entitled “Germplasm Regeneration, Characterization, Evaluation and Phytosanitary Assessment of Quarantined and Tropically-Adapted Genetic Resources.” Very severe damages to the infrastructure of the station resulted from Hurricane Maria impacting the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, on September 2017. The main building where offices and work laboratories were located was completely lost. Storage areas for supplies and materials, shelters for farm equipment and implements, a mechanical shop area, the threshing and processing building and irrigation infrastructure also suffered significant damage. The threshing and processing building has been temporarily repaired (“quick fix”) as an effort to initiate seed regeneration efforts again before permanent repairs are initiated. The cistern pipes and pumps were also repaired and so was the liner on the irrigation pond. An old quarter that was not significantly damaged was repaired and temporarily converted into office space for employees. Major repairs are expected to initiate sometime late in FY 18. An attempt will be made to establish the first maize regeneration planting between July and September 2018.