Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Research Project #434340

Research Project: Management of Priority Legume, Oilseed, Vegetable, Forage Grass, Sugar, Ornamental, and Medicinal Plant Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-032-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

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

Objective:
Objective 1: Efficiently and effectively acquire, distribute, and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability of priority legume, oilseed, vegetable, forage grass, sugar, ornamental, and medicinal genetic resources and associated information. 1A: Acquire samples of priority plant genetic resources (including crop wild relatives) from the U.S. and/or other countries to fill current gaps in NPGS collections of these priority crops. 1B: Conserve and distribute WRPIS plant genetic resources and their associated information. 1C: Regenerate accessions of priority plant genetic resources, emphasizing accessions with low germination, few seeds in storage, or those not yet backed-up at secondary sites. Objective 2: Develop more effective genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, or characterization methods and apply them to priority legume, oilseed, vegetable, forage grass, sugar, ornamental, and medicinal genetic resources. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data via Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)-Global and other data sources. 2A: With collaborators, apply next generation DNA sequence technology to genotype selected accessions of priority crops for assessing genetic diversity and analyzing genome-wide association among DNA sequence variants and traits of economic importance, emphasizing core subsets of priority genetic resources. Incorporate characterization data into the GRIN-Global and/or other databases. 2B: With collaborators, characterize with NIR spectroscopy the major nutritional component content of food legume genetic resources. 2C: Screen germplasm accessions, and/or candidates for accessions, for disease resistance. Identify disease agents by current taxonomic criteria. Disseminate research results in peer-review venues with citations in GRIN-Global. 2D: With collaborators, characterize the fatty acid composition and oil content of selected safflower germplasm accessions with gas chromatography. Objective 3: With other NPGS genebanks and Crop Germplasm Committees, develop, update, document, and implement best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for priority legume, oilseed, vegetable, forage grass, sugar, ornamental, and medicinal genetic resource and information management. 3A: Working with respective Crop Germplasm Committees and curators at other locations, update Crop Vulnerability Statements for Food Legumes, Pisum, Grass, Leafygreen Vegetables, Phaseolus Bean, Root and Bulb (allium) and sugarbeet. 3B: Update WRPIS Operations Manual on Germplasm Management and Research. Objective 4: Develop selected populations of priority genetic resources which are genetically enhanced for potentially higher yields, tolerance to environmental extremes, host-plant resistance to diseases and pests, and/or increased nutritional quality. 4A: Identify markers associated with resilience to temperature extremes by conducting a genome wide association study of faba bean using SNP markers and field evaluation data. 4B: Develop a Pisum recombinant inbred population in order to elucidate the genetic basis of economically important traits.

Approach:
Conserve, regenerate, evaluate and distribute approximately 98,000 accessions of cool season food and forage legumes, grasses, common beans, oilseeds, vegetables, beets, ornamentals, medicinal crops and related wild species, and associated information by following closely the National Plant Germplasm System Distribution Policy and the established protocols and procedures. Keep our active plant genetic resource collections in the seed storage facilities with adequate conditions for proper conservation of seed samples for short and medium term storage and for people entering the storage space to take samples for distribution and for viability tests. Monitor seed viability by periodic germination tests at variable intervals depending on the species. Ship high quality seed samples to National Laboratory for Germplasm Resources Preservation at Ft. Collins, Colorado and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway for long-term security back-up. Conduct collaborative plant expedition/collection trips and germplasm exchange to acquire samples to fill gaps in NPGS collections, and to supply critically needed traits to support current and future breeding and research. Evaluate the phenotypic variation of economic traits of specialty crops independently or collaboratively. Use laboratory equipment to characterize major nutritional components of food crop germplasm such as using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to quantify the major nutritional component content of food legume genetic resources and gas chromatography to characterize the fatty acid composition and oil content of selected safflower germplasm accessions. Apply existing and newly developed genomic tools and technologies such as the Next Generation DNA sequencing to characterize genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship and marker-trait association of priority crop collections. Upload characterization/evaluation data into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)-Global and/or other databases. Survey production fields, identify pathogens causing emerging diseases with morphological-cultural and molecular techniques, investigate interactions among these host plants and their pathogens, and devise and apply pathogen management strategies to maintain the health of the assigned genetic resources. Publish research results and release improved germplasm to the user community. Update the pertinent section of Operations Manual with reference to changes in collection holdings, management technologies and practices, diagnostic procedures, roles of personnel and any other relevant changes. Work with relevant crop germplasm committees to update the Crop Vulnerability Statements of the crops under our management. Use both classical plant breeding methods and contemporary marker-assisted selection (MAS) to enhance the nutritional attributes and the resiliency to abiotic stress of faba bean.