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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

2018 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objevtive 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. Sub-objective 1a: Efficiently and effectively safeguard genetic resources. Sub-objective 1b: Back up genetic resource collections. Sub-objective 1c: Distribute pathogen-tested genetic resources. Objective 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. Sub-objective 2a: Characterize and evaluate genetic resources for important horticultural characteristics. Sub-objective 2b: Maintain and enhance access to characterization and evaluation data through GRIN Global, publications, and other databases (MusaNet, ICGD, Bioversity International). Sub-objective 2c: Develop Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for cacao and other minor crops within the collections. Objective 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.


1b. Approach (from AD-416):
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.


3. Progress Report:
This is the first report for the project 6090-21000-057-00D which began in February 2018 and replaces project 6090-21000-051-00D; however progress was made on all three objectives of the project plan. The Musa collection was propagated in vitro and then re-planted in the field in June 2018. Over 100 germplasm distributions of more than 3,000 propagules (seed, budwood,leaves) were sent to researchers and cooperators at the local, national and international level. The germplasm project has received and field established 60 Musa spp. accessions as part of a collaborative project with Bioversity International’s Musa International Transit Center. These plants have been in tissue culture for over 10 years in the international collection and need to be field verified and characterized for important phenotypic and agronomic traits. Data for this collaborative project have been uploaded to their database and shared with collaborators.


4. Accomplishments