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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #444763

Research Project: Germplasm Resources for the Floriculture Nursery Industry at the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-085-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 13, 2023
End Date: May 12, 2028

The overarching objectives are to collect, conserve, characterize, evaluate, document, and distribute herbaceous ornamental germplasm to benefit the floriculture and nursery industry and enhance scientific research by (1) Expanding the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center (OPGC) germplasm collections to include genotypes that represent a wide range of herbaceous ornamental plant genetic diversity. (2) Developing appropriate protocols for the preservation and regeneration of seed and clonally propagated germplasm to protect against potential loss of vulnerable genetic resources in the existing collections. (3) Characterizing and evaluating germplasm accessions for important ornamental and horticultural traits and for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, especially on the priority genera (Begonia, Coreopsis, Lilium, Phlox, Rudbeckia and Viola). (4) Evaluating ploidy levels to facilitate germplasm improvement and enhancement. (5) Documenting and integrating the resulting data into Genetic Resource Information Network (GRIN)-Global and/or other information management systems. (6) Distributing ornamental genetic resources and associated information for research, breeding, and education purposes. (7) Advocating the use of herbaceous ornamental germplasm resources to stakeholders.

This agreement enables the OPGC to continue its mission of safeguarding the genetic diversity of herbaceous ornamental plants, with a goal of providing germplasm to the floriculture and nursery industry as well as scientific communities. Plant genetic resources will be acquired through donations/exchanges with national and international collaborators, or through US native plant explorations. Management protocols will be optimized to conserve and regenerate seed and clonally propagated germplasm. Phenotypic trait data and digital images will be collected during germplasm characterization and evaluation. Genotypic characterization techniques (e.g., next-generation sequencing) will be implemented to assess genetic diversity. Information from germplasm acquisition, maintenance, and distribution activities, including new passport and taxonomic data as well as phenotypic data will be documented. Genetic resources and associated information obtained through these efforts will serve as the foundation for crop improvement and development and will be made available to stakeholders.