Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #434313

Research Project: Management of Genetic Resources and Associated Information in the U. S. Potato Genebank

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

2018 Annual Report

Objective 1: Efficiently and effectively acquire genetic resources of potato and its wild relatives, maintain their safety, genetic integrity, health and viability, and distribute them and associated information worldwide. Objective 2: Develop more effective genetic resource acquisition, maintenance, evaluation, and/or characterization methods and apply them to priority genetic resources of potato and its wild relatives. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data and digital images 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 potato genetic resource and information management.

Proven methods and developing needs and technologies will guide the most efficient acquisition of germplasm. Similarly, we will classify the germplasm by assigning species names, and also using other methods to identify pools of diversity useful to germplasm users. Preservation will be accomplished by keeping propagules as botanical seeds and in vitro clones. Optimal storage environments will be used. Germplasm health will be preserved by testing both seed increase parents and offspring for the seed-transmitted viroid, Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTV). Germplasm will be distributed to requesters in a timely fashion and stocks providede to federal, state, corporate, and private clients in the US and abroad at little to no cost. Data management will be done by staff at the genebank in cooperation with the national computer network for the nation’s germplasm, GRIN. DNA marker data analysis, experimental design, and interpretation will be done by staff on campus. We will make annual collecting trips to the southwest in the fall to collect subject material for DNA marker analysis for various aspects of interest with respect genetic richness and the relationship of diversity in the wild with that in the genebank. Core subsets and populations rich in unique alleles will be identified. Techniques that improve flowering, seedset, and germination useful to both the genebank and germplasm users will be studied. Outreach will be accomplished through the Potato Crop Germplasm Committee (PCGC), Plant Germplasm Operations Committee (PGOC), National Research Support Program – 6 (NRSP6), Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Global), and by maintaining the genebank website covering all aspects of the project mission.

Progress Report
We expect to accomplish all aspects of delivering germplasm services to the nation’s researchers and breeders envisioned in this plan in FY18. Several promising evaluation studies were started in the past project which we anticipate will be substantially advanced, possibly published, by the end of this year: 1) comparison of error associated with tuber qualities when tubers are generated in the greenhouse, field, or in precisely-regulated growth chambers, 2) characterizing extreme frost hardiness of tubers, 3) anti-cancer glycoalkaloid content of certain species’ tubers, 4) new sources of Dickeya tuber rot and Zebra chip disease resistances, 5) application of Genotyping By Sequencing (GBS) genotyping to assessment of intra-species relationships and heterogeneity, 6) feasibility of breeding an inbred diploid orange-fleshed Criolla cultivar, 7) recipe for a high quality beer with maximum potato input, 8) validation of a self-incompatible artificial version of a bridge species that does not require emasculation to make crosses, 9) survey of theoretical and empirical biases that have led to underestimation of heterozygosity of wild potato species, 10) testing simplified methods to estimate ploidy, 11) collecting new germplasm and summarize 25 years of research and collecting in the southwest USA.