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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Plant Genetic Resources Research » Research » Research Project #434266

Research Project: Management and Development of Apple, Cold-Hardy Grape, and Tart Cherry Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Research

Project Number: 8060-21000-028-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 6, 2018
End Date: Mar 5, 2023

Objective:
The long-term overall objectives of this project are to acquire and conserve a broad spectrum of genetic diversity of apples (Malus), cold-hardy grapes (Vitis) and tart cherries (Prunus), to characterize and distribute these genetic resources and associated information to breeders and others for research and crop improvement, and to increase public awareness of the value of these crop genetic resources. During this project period, our objectives are as follows: Objective 1: Efficiently and effectively acquire apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources, maintain their safety, genetic integrity, health and viability, and distribute them and associated information worldwide. [NP301, C2, PS2A; C1, PS1A] Sub-objective 1.A.: Conserve, back up, regenerate, and distribute apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources and associated information. Sub-objective 1.B.: Acquire apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources through exploration, collection, and/or exchange to fill the gaps in the collections. Objective 2: Develop more effective genetic resource characterization and evaluation (especially for phenotyping trees and vines) methods and applying them to priority apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources. Record and disseminate characterization and evaluation data via GRIN-Global and other data sources. [NP301, C2, PS2A; C1, PS1A] Sub-objective 2.A.: Characterize and evaluate key morphological, horticultural, genetic, and biochemical attributes of apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources. Record all the characterization and evaluation data via GRIN-Global and other databases. Sub-objective 2.B.: Develop or adapt new methods and apply them for characterizing priority apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources. Objective 3: Work with other NPGS gene banks and Crop Germplasm Committees to develop, update, document, and implement curatorial best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources and information management. [NP301, C2, PS2A] Sub-objective 3.A.: Work with other clonal repositories to develop and implement best management practices for apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources. Sub-objective 3.B.: Update the Crop Vulnerability Statements of apple, grape, and Prunus (tart cherry).

Approach:
To accomplish the objectives above, effective project planning, implementation and management are required. Innovative and sustained scientific efforts are needed to provide scientific foundation for better managing the germplasm resources and making the resources and associated information readily available to the users. To meet Objective 1, we will maintain the collection in a good healthy condition through effective field cultivation, cryopreservation and seed storage; we will continue to increase the back-up coverage of the Malus and tart cherry collection using cryopreservation and other methods in collaboration with the National Center for Germplasm Resources Preservation (NCGRP); information about accessions will be made available in easily understandable and accessible formats via GRIN-Global; we will regenerate and distribute our collections and associated information timely and effectively; we will continue filling collection gaps through germplasm exploration and exchanges. Vitis and Malus will be our primary foci. To meet Objective 2, we will characterize and evaluate key morphological, horticultural, genetic, and biochemical attributes of apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources; we will record all the characterization and evaluation data via GRIN-Global and other databases; we will continue collecting basic Malus and Vitis descriptor information such as fruit size and cluster attributes; we will work with collaborators to evlaute our Malus collection for hard cider characteristics; we will determine polidy levels of selected Malus accessions; and we will evelop or adapt new methods, such as aerial phenotyping and new virus testing technologies, and apply them for characterizing priority apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources. To meet Objective 3, we will work closely with other clonal repositories to develop and implement best management practices for apple, cold-hardy grape, and tart cherry genetic resources and will update the Crop Vulnerability Statements of apple, grape, and Prunus (tart cherry). In addition, we will enhance the germplasm management effectiveness and utilization efficiencies by characterizing and evaluating the collection through various genetic and molecular approaches. We will work closely with Crop Germplasm Committees to implement the priorities they define for collection and evaluation. The major impact of the project is to preserve genetic resources of apples, grapes, and tart cherries for future improvement of these crops worldwide.