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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437015

Research Project: Germplasm Acquisition and Taxonomic Support for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-302-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

A broad range of genetic diversity is necessary to provide plant breeders and other scientists with the raw materials necessary for crop improvement and research. This agreement will: 1. Provide support to the Plant Exchange Office (PEO) of the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory by making arrangements with botanists in the United States and other countries to document and collect plant genetic resources for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. 2. Provide support to the PEO taxonomic research program by assigning and administratively supporting qualified taxonomists to this project.

1. Each year specific germplasm needs for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) that can be best collected through this program will be identified by the USDA-ARS-NGRL-Plant Exchange Office (PEO). Qualified botanists will submit proposals to collect the needed germplasm and documentation. PEO will review the proposals and communicate directly with the selected botanist and the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) Cooperator on the accepted proposals. NGRL-PEO will monitor the collection activities and communicate directly with the field botanists. The Cooperator will assist with the communications between PEO and the field botanists as needed. The collected germplasm and documentation will be sent to the NPGS using established procedures. The field botanist will invoice PEO for the agreed upon amount. PEO will forward the approved invoice to the Cooperator who will provide payment directly to the botanist. All plant collections will be conducted in compliance with national and international laws and treaties affecting the acquisition and exchange of plant genetic resources. 2. The contracting individual will be responsible for entering and modifying taxon names and associated data into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) in consultation with the GRIN Taxonomist. Associated data will include literature references, country/state distribution data, relevant economic use data, and applicable common names. For work on crop wild relatives, each crop will be evaluated by a thorough review of recent phylogenetic classifications that include its relatives and a review of plant genetics, plant breeding, or other crop science literature that identifies the crop's wild relative gene pool members. Data on phylogenetic relationships and cross ability with other species will be used to assign genetic relatives to a genepool. Additionally, breeding use data will be assigned to the relevant trait class and entered into the GRIN Taxonomy crop wild relative table according to prescribed protocols. Upon completion of the classification for the wild relatives of a given crop, a summary of the classification data will be provided to the GRIN Taxonomist for review. From the feedback received, any necessary adjustments to the classification will be made by the contracting individual. The contracting individual will work on this project approximately 20-30 hours/week for 50 weeks, for a total of 1,000-1,500 hours. Payment will be made at an agreed upon rate commensurate with the individual’s education and experience. An invoice for the hours worked will be submitted to the ARS PI, who will forward the approved invoice to the Cooperator for payment, when each quarter (200-375 hours) of the total is completed.