Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes » Research » Research Project #434303

Research Project: Managing Genetic Resources and Associated Information of Grape, Tree Fruit, Tree Nut, and Other Specialty Crops Adapted to Mediterranean Climates

Location: Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes

Project Number: 2032-21000-024-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 1, 2018
End Date: Feb 28, 2023

Objective:
The long-term objective of this project is to preserve the genetic diversity in the collections of the 14 Mediterranean crops for current and future generations. Specifically, during the next five years we will focus on the following objectives. Objective 1: Efficiently and effectively acquire priority Mediterranean climate-adapted grape, tree fruit, tree nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources; maintain their safety, genetic integrity, health and viability; and distribute them and associated information worldwide. Objective 2: Develop more effective genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, and characterization methods and apply them to priority Mediterranean climate-adapted grape, tree fruit, tree nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data via GRIN-Global and other data sources. Objective 3: With other NPGS genebanks and Crop Germplasm Committees, develop, update, document, and implement best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for Mediterranean climate-adapted grape, tree fruit, tree nut, and other specialty crop genetic resource and information management. Basis for the objectives: The first two objectives describe the four basic tenets of the mission of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository Davis (NCGR); acquisition, maintenance, characterization and distribution of high quality, healthy, viable, true-to-type genetic resources and the associated evaluation and characterization information in GRIN-Global to the domestic and international scientific and educational communities. The third objective focuses on developing, implementing, and documenting best management practices for the collections and keeping the Crop Vulnerability Statements up-to-date. Acquisition has focused on crop wild relatives (CWRs) to fill important gaps and much of this germplasm is under quarantine and therefore in the pipeline to the Repository. Maintenance is best accomplished with young, vigorous plants and therefore the Repository is in the middle of a repropagation cycle for the collections. Distribution of germplasm to national and international researchers, breeders, and nurseries is primarily, but not limited to dormant cuttings or scionwood. Phenotypic evaluation and genetic characterization of the collections focus on understanding genetic diversity and increasing the visibility and value of the germplasm. Stakeholders are interested in phenotypic data on traits with breeding value. We use Bioversity International descriptors for germplasm evaluation and upload these data to GRIN-Global. Genetic markers discovered at the Repository and by collaborators can help clarify accession identity and assess genetic diversity, structure, and differentiation, and when combined with phenotypes will enhance the value and promote utilization of the germplasm.

Approach:
Objective 1 Research Goal 1: Implement best management strategies for the acquisition, maintenance, and distribution of the genetic resources of the NCGR. Approach: This objective describes three of the four basic tenets of the mission of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for tree fruits, nut crops and grapes (NCGR) of acquisition, maintenance of the germplasm, and distribution of high quality, healthy, viable, trueto-type genetic resources to the domestic and international scientific and educational communities. The fourth tenet is evaluation and characterization covered in Objective 2. This and other objectives are accomplished by 10 full-time staff, as well as 2-5 part-time student workers. Objective 2 Research Goal 2: To have better maintained and more thoroughly evaluated and characterized collections and to make the resulting descriptor information more complete and up-to-date in GRIN-Global. Approach: This objective describes making collection maintenance more effective and is well aligned with the maintenance portion of Objective 1. Evaluation and characterization of the collections increase the visibility and usefulness of this valuable germplasm to the stakeholder community. Phenotypic descriptors have great utilization and help guide breeders and others who must decide which accessions will help advance their program. Therefore, phenotyping is a focus of the NCGR. Genotypic descriptors, such as SSR and SNP markers are also developed for the collections and are useful to the scientific community and for combining with rich phenotypic data to discover QTLs. Objective 3 Research Goal 3: Regularly document best management practices and update Crop Vulnerability Statements every 3-4 years. Approach: This objective describes developing updated and documented best management practices for collection management and evaluation. It also is important to have up-to-date crop vulnerability statements to facilitate communication with stakeholders, identify gaps in the collection, and identify management improvements potentially increasing yield and quality of regenerated propagules. In addition, Crop Vulnerability Statements are used by Office of National Programs when communicating with leadership and lawmakers.