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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Research Project #443856

Research Project: An Integrated Approach for Plant Genetic Resources Conservation, Characterization, Evaluation, Documentation, and Distribution

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

Project Number: 6046-21000-013-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 28, 2023
End Date: Feb 27, 2028

Objective 1. Optimize and implement best management practices to conserve, maintain, and distribute plant genetic resources and associated descriptive information. Sub-objective 1.A. Optimize and implement best management practices based on the NPGS plan to conserve and maintain more than 100,000 accessions of priority plant genetic resources and their associated information. Sub-objective 1.B. Distribute plant genetic resources and associated information to stakeholders, scientists, plant breeders, and educators. Objective 2. Ensure accessibility, quality, and integrity of plant genetic resources through regeneration and conservation practices. Sub-objective 2.A. Monitor and assess plant genetic resources for viability, trueness to type, vigor, and overall health. Sub-objective 2.B. Conduct field and greenhouse regenerations of priority crops and their wild relatives based on low viability and low seed numbers to replenish and safeguard high quality plant genetic resources. Objective 3. Conduct research to characterize and evaluate plant genetic resources for priority genetic, agronomic, nutritional, and health related traits. Sub-objective 3.A. Characterize plant genetic resources using basic descriptors and other phenotypic data to describe useful agronomic and horticultural traits. Sub-objective 3.B. Evaluate plant genetic resources using physiological, biochemical, and genetic techniques to determine seed quality, tolerances to biotic and abiotic stresses, and variations in nutritional and health related traits.

This project is part of a comprehensive nationwide program, the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), that conserves plant genetic resources for present and future crop improvement and related research activities. The project acquires, conserves, documents, distributes, characterizes, and evaluates the genetic resources of agronomic and horticultural crops including sorghum, peanut, peppers, watermelon, squash, eggplant, okra, sweetpotato, subtropical and tropical legumes, warm-season grasses, cowpeas, annual clovers, various industrial crops, other crops, and their wild relatives. All objectives and sub-objectives are non-hypothesis driven research as the mission is predominantly service oriented providing plant genetic resources and associated information to plant breeders and researchers for use in their scientific efforts. This project focuses on providing high quality, well-documented plant genetic resources and associated information to ARS, university, industry, and other research and education programs worldwide. The project investigators work closely with domestic and international scientists in helping them obtain the appropriate germplasm and information to achieve their research goals. Scientists remain current in all areas of research and education on each specific crop and their wild relatives through involvement with crop-specific Crop Germplasm Committees (CGC) and direct contact with scientists and educators who request plant genetic resources and information.