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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Research Project #434342

Research Project: Conservation, Evaluation, and Distribution of Sugarcane, Mango, Avocado and Other Subtropical and Tropical Genetic Resources and Associated Data

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Project Number: 6038-21000-024-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

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

1. Efficiently and effectively acquire and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health and viability of priority sugarcane, mango, avocado, and other subtropical and tropical genetic resources, and distribute them and associated information worldwide. 1A. Maintain and improve the physical infrastructure and field usage of the SHRS station. 1B. Maintain, regenerate, back up, and distribute the plant germplasm collections. 2. Develop more effective genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, or characterization methods and apply them to priority sugarcane, mango, avocado, and other subtropical and tropical genetic resources. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data via GRIN-Global and other data sources. 2A. Develop a GIS map of all germplasm and research accessions at SHRS. 2B. Develop a local database that is GRIN-Global compatible to accommodate old and new phenotypic, genetic and genomic data for germplasm accessions and Best Management Practices. 3. With other NPGS genebanks and Crop Germplasm Committees, develop, update, document, and implement best management practices and Crop Vulnerability Statements for sugarcane, mango, avocado, and other subtropical and tropical genetic resource and information management. 3A. Develop with other NPGS stations a set of standard descriptors for germplasm evaluation to standardize phenotypic data in the GRIN-Global database and written standard protocols for the collection of such phenotypic data. 3B. Develop and update Crop Vulnerability Statements for the major germplasm collections. 4. In collaboration with clients and stakeholders, investigate the genetic bases and control of key horticultural traits for mango and avocado, and develop genetic markers and other methods to improve the efficiency of breeding those crops. 4A. Identify associations of important horticultural traits with genetic markers for avocado and mango. 4B. Apply currently available genetic markers to further breeding improvement for our clients and stakeholders for avocado and mango.

The lead scientist/curator will plan, schedule and direct the improvement of the physical infrastructure of the station by training personnel and repairing, maintaining and upgrading farm equipment and irrigation. In addition, the lead scientist/curator will develop a schedule to efficiently and effectively maintain, regenerate, back up and distribute the plant germplasm collections using Best Management Practices. A GIS map and associated local database will be created to house phenotypic and genotypic data on the major collections (sugarcane, avocado and mango) as well as minor collections when phenotypic data becomes available. The local database will be in the same format as GRIN-Global and will facilitate upload of the phenotypic data into GRIN-Global. Accurate and up-to-date information on all germplasm collections in the local database will allow more rapid identification of requested material on the SHRS 200 acre research facility and improve the speed and accuracy of distribution. In coordination with other NPGS stations and Crop Germplasm Committees, the lead scientist/curator will produce standardized phenotypic descriptors to improve accessibility of phenotypic data for SHRS germplasm collections in GRIN-Global and produce Crop Vulnerability Statements for the major collections to identify areas of greatest concern for successful maintenance. Genetic and genomic data will be applied to identify core collections that encompass the available genetic diversity in the larger collection to make backing up of collections more efficient. Finally, in coordination with collaborators and stakeholders, use all available genetic and genomic data to associate molecular genetic markers with useful horticultural traits to improve breeding of avocado and mango.