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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » National Clonal Germplasm Repository » Research » Research Project #443999

Research Project: Conservation and Utilization of Temperate-Adapted Fruit, Nut, and Other Specialty Crop Genetic Resources

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository

Project Number: 2072-21000-059-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 12, 2023
End Date: Feb 11, 2028

Objective 1: Conduct research to develop genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, or characterization methods and, in alignment with the overall National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) Plan, apply them to priority temperate-adapted fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources to avoid backlogs in plant genetic resources and information management. Sub-objective 1.A: Building on the data and information included in the NPGS Plan to develop and implement a detailed plan for conducting research to develop methods for effectively addressing backlogs in accession regeneration, backup, germination/viability testing of seeds, pathogen-testing and “clean-up”, record digitizing, trait evaluation and characterization, and upload all data to GRIN-Global. Sub-objective 1.B: Develop improved methods for conserving temperate crop germplasm in field plantings and container production in protected environments. Sub-objective 1.C: Expand the DNA genetic marker databases of Fragaria, Pyrus, Corylus, Vaccinium, Rubus, and Humulus, with existing DNA fingerprinting sets and develop or optimize fingerprinting sets for genotyping other genera, and enter information to GRIN-Global. Sub-objective 1.D: Implement targeted and/or high-throughput genotyping systems for genome-wide association and linkage and trait mapping in Vaccinium and Fragaria, core collection establishment in Rubus and Pyrus, development of Fire blight resistance markers in Pyrus, and enter information to GRIN-Global. Sub-objective 2.E: Provide support for data collection, management, and analysis from phenotyping evaluations that add value to NCGR small fruit genetic resources, and that enhance the development and commercialization of new blueberry, caneberry, and strawberry cultivars. Objective 2: Acquire, distribute, and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability of priority temperate-adapted fruit, nut, and other specialty crop genetic resources and associated descriptive information. Sub-objective 2.A: Acquire international and domestic germplasm samples of Corylus, Fragaria, Humulus, Pyrus, Mentha, Ribes, Rubus, Vaccinium, and their crop wild relatives via plant exploration and exchange. Sub-objective 2.B: Establish and maintain crop genetic resources emphasizing temperate fruit, nut, and specialty crop germplasm (both cultivated and crop wild relatives). Apply established genetic marker tools to identify duplication and eliminate unnecessary redundancy to maximize efficient germplasm management. Sub-objective 2.C: Collaborate with other genebank sites to implement backup conservation methods for our eight primary genera, including growing plants in field plantings and long-term cryopreservation. Sub-objective 2.D: Apply bioassay, ELISA, and PCR tests for detecting known virus, viroid, and phytoplasma pathogens in primary plant collections. Eliminate pathogens from selected accessions with improved methods for heat therapy and meristem culture. Sub-objective 2.E: Distribute germplasm during the appropriate season for each crop to national and international researchers at public, private, and educational bodies.

Objective 1: 1.A: Develop research plans for preventing backlog and for fast tracking conservation activities described in the NPGS plan using a collaborative and multi-step approach. Preventing losses to accessions and records is the number one NCGR priority. 1.B: Establish improved conservation methods upon and after transition to new screenhouse design, which include a fully automated control of environmental conditions to maximize winter chilling/dormancy and mitigate excessive summer heat while providing effective exclusion of aphids and other virus vectors. 1.C: Expand existing molecular databases for hazelnut, blackberry, blueberry, pear, and hop and develop new databases/tests for raspberry, currant, gooseberry and mint. 1.D: Apply/develop high throughput genotyping techniques to: conduct genome wide association studies (GWAS) for fruit quality in blueberry and strawberry; establish core collections in red raspberry, pear, wild strawberry, and cranberry; and to develop a DNA test for fireblight in pear. Objective 2: 2.A: Acquire samples of Corylus, Fragaria, Humulus, Pyrus, Mentha, Ribes, Rubus, Vaccinium, and their related pome fruits from North America, North Africa, Central Asia, Asia, and Northern Europe to fill current gaps in NPGS collections as described in the Crop Vulnerability Statements. 2.B: Efficiently maintain genetic integrity and diversity of germplasm prioritizing five genera: Corylus, Fragaria, Pyrus, Rubus, and Vaccinium. 2.C: Establish security backup for the accessions in our collections using whole-plant local clonal backup, whole-plant remote clonal backup, tissue culture and/or cryopreservation where possible, and as seed. 2.D: Develop and implement a pathogen testing scheme for field and for screenhouse/greenhouse-grown germplasm. 2.E: Distribute genetic resources through the GRIN-Global online order processing under the NPGS conditions of distribution.