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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Plant Introduction Research » Research » Research Project #444044

Research Project: Management of Crop Genetic Resources and Descriptive Information

Location: Plant Introduction Research

Project Number: 5030-21000-070-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 13, 2023
End Date: Feb 12, 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, then apply them to priority maize, vegetable, oilseed, ornamental, medicinal plant, protein grain, and crop wild relative (CWR) genetic resources to avoid backlogs in plant genetic resource (PGR) and information management. 1.A: Develop and/or refine methodology and protocols to enhance and optimize site capacity for regeneration and availability of collections. 1.B: Develop and/or refine bioinformatic and program capacity for devising algorithms and machine learning to capture data from spectral imaging. 1.C: Develop and evaluate methods to utilize genetic marker technologies to better characterize collections and identify collection gaps. 1.D: Develop and/or refine efficient and effective methods for timely germination/viability testing to meet demand in current collection accessions. 1.E: Investigate, implement, or develop laboratory methods to detect or eradicate seedborne pathogens to increase accession availability. 1.F: Develop software tools for the GRIN-Global (GG) software suite to expand user flexibility and options for descriptive information collection and upload, data management, and seed distribution. Objective 2: Acquire, distribute, and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability of maize, vegetable, oilseed, ornamental, medicinal plant, protein grain, and CWR genetic resources and associated descriptive information. 2.A: Expand, regenerate, and conserve collections of priority maize, vegetable, oilseed, protein grain, medicinal, and ornamental genetic resources. 2.B: Protect genetic integrity of maintained seed and plant materials. 2.C: Incrementally increase percentage of North Central Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) genebank accessions backup at alternate sites to more than 85% of 2021 holdings. 2.D: Monitor accessions for viability and phytosanitary health to ensure availability of healthy propagules for regeneration and distribution. 2.E: Evaluate crop collections for phenotypic, morphological, composition, and productivity related traits such as biotic resistance or abiotic stress tolerance and yield. 2.F: Distribute germplasm and associated information to support stakeholder research objectives.

1.A: Regeneration protocols will be reviewed for accessions within species and germplasm types each year prior to planning annual regeneration efforts and after harvest in reflection of seed returns to ensure maximization of return for the effort. 1.B: Individual seed data capture capabilities of equipment located at the NCRPIS will allow effective data capture within heterogeneous populations. Results will provide enhanced accession phenotypic evaluation information for inclusion in GG. 1.C: The Maize Genetics/Genomics Database (MaizeGDB) and Panzea Project genotyping tools will be utilized to calculate genetic relationships between maize lines and assess differences or duplication among seed lots of a given accession within and across a collection. Trait association studies conducted by collaborators and stakeholders will be noted and linked to individual collection accessions. 1.D: Specialized germination methods will be developed to determine the germination/viability status of species with dormancy or other restrictions that do not allow the application of standard methods. 1.E: Investigation of methods to render unviable (non-infective the seed borne Acidovorax citrulli bacteria (bacterial fruit blotch [BFB] pathogen) infesting Cucumis melo seed) without adversely affecting seed viability will be a priority. Results of research to develop real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection methods capable of discriminating between Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii (Pss), and other Pantoea species have been developed at the NCRPIS and will be implemented. 1.F: NCRPIS staff will continue to expand the capacity and capabilities of the GG PGR information management system to meet the needs of crop curators and genetic resource users. 2.A: Germplasm acquisition and conservation objectives based on input from stakeholders and curators' scholarly efforts will be used to determine sources of unique, potentially useful genetic variation for crops and CWR. 2.B: Best management practices will be maintained according to protocols developed by NCRPIS personnel and hosted on local servers; modify and document processes and changes. 2.C: With regeneration activities in Ames, Iowa, Parlier, California, commercial winter nurseries, and collaborator locations, backup of collection holdings will be increased to 85%, even with an expected annual collection growth of 0.9%. 2.D: Viability and germination testing of collection holdings will be conducted to ensure the security of the accessions using Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) protocols. Phytosanitary precautions will be implemented at multiple points in the production cycle to protect plant health and guard against seedborne pathogens. 2.E: Information related to phenotypic trait performance, adaptation, source habitat, and application of crop specific marker technologies to better characterize key collections enable the research community to target germplasm to meet current and future production challenges or needs. 2.F: Germplasm distributions are made to researchers and educators in accordance with NPGS distribution policies.