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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #434221

Research Project: Conservation and Utilization of Tropical and Subtropical Tree Fruit, Cacao and Bamboo Genetic Resources

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

Project Number: 6090-21000-057-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 14, 2018
End Date: Feb 13, 2023

Objective:
1. Efficiently and effectively maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health and viability of priority tropical and subtropical tree fruit, bamboo, and cacao genetic resources and distribute them and associated information worldwide. 1a: Efficiently and effectively safeguard genetic resources. 1b: Back up genetic resource collections. 1c: Distribute pathogen-tested genetic resources. 2. Develop more effective genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, and characterization methods and apply them to priority tropical and subtropical tree fruit, bamboo, and cacao genetic resources. Disseminate evaluation and characterization data via Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)-Global and other data sources. 2a: Characterize and evaluate genetic resources for important horticultural characteristics. 2b: Maintain and enhance access to characterization and evaluation data through GRIN Global, publications, and other databases (MusaNet, ICGD, Bioversity International). 2c: Develop Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for cacao and other minor crops within the collections. 3. With other National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) genebanks and Crop Germplasm Committees, develop, update, document, and implement best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for tropical and subtropical tree fruit, bamboo, and cacao genetic resources and information management.

Approach:
Plant genetic resources will be efficiently and effectively conserved, backed-up, regenerated, evaluated, and distributed free of diseases. This will be carried out by implementing latest technologies available for field, lab, and greenhouse plant labeling, by maintaining on and off-site backups of critically important germplasm, by field evaluating for important horticultural traits and by indexing/eliminating plant diseases in stock to be distributed. All information associated with plant genetic resources including passport, characterization, and evaluation data will be incorporated into the publicly available Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)-Global database. Development of molecular marker tools is a collaborative effort with other USDA-ARS laboratories and will be used to genotype accessions within the cacao, Annona, sapodilla, Garcinia, sapote and other tropical fruits in the collections, which will aid in the identification of redundancies, discrepancies, and genetic gaps in the collections. In addition, the marker work will complement morphological characterization and stakeholder community input in the development of guidelines to follow for prioritization of future plant introductions. Best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for tropical and subtropical tree fruit, bamboo, and cacao genetic resources and information management will be developed, updated, documented, and implemented.