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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #444080

Research Project: Management of Diverse Germplasm and Associated Descriptive Information in the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Small Grains Collection

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Project Number: 2050-21000-037-000-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 apply them to priority small grains genetic resources to avoid backlogs in genetic resource and information management. 1.A: Validate the taxonomic identity of crop wild relative (CWR) accessions of barley, oat, rice, rye, and wheat. 1.B: Establish protocols for viability testing of CWR accessions of barley, oat, rice, rye, and wheat. Objective 2: Acquire, distribute, and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability of priority small grains genetic resources and associated descriptive information. 2.A: Maintain and back-up NSGC accessions. 2.B: Regenerate NSGC accessions on a continuing basis with priorities determined by seed inventory and viability. 2.C: Distribute NSGC accessions and information on requests that meet the specific needs of researchers worldwide. 2.D: Acquire crop wild relatives of wheat, barley, rice, and oat that are under-represented by taxonomy or geography and other threatened small grains germplasm.

Objective 1. A flow cytometry instrument will be utilized to determine the ploidy level of each CWR accession. Second step will be to examine the morphology of the propagule for each accession for important identification keys from recognized taxonomic authorities. If necessary, the morphology of other plant parts will be examined using the identification keys. Viability testing for each CWR species will be studied separately. Questions to answer include: the number of fertile florets in the propagule, the presence of dormancy, the speed of germination, temperature, and other factors. When a usable test protocol for a species is determined, viability tests for all accessions in that species will be scheduled. Objective 2. Established procedures will be followed to maintain all NSGC accessions, with special attention to seed preparation and planting, plant pathogen monitoring, harvest, and laboratory processing. Seed of NSGC accessions are held in medium-term storage under controlled temperature. Inventory records, including quantity of seed on hand, viability, and date of last regeneration, are maintained in GRIN-Global. Seed will be provided to NLGRP for safety back up. Priority morphological characterization data will be collected and recorded in GRIN-Global. The most important traits have been identified previously by the Barley, Oat, and Wheat CGCs. Voucher images are standardized and of high quality to show relevant details and colors of spikes, panicles, and propagules. Maintaining the integrity of every NSGC accession at every stage of handling is a high priority. Wherever feasible this includes utilizing barcoding of envelopes and packaging to ensure that correct choices are made. Where barcoding is not feasible then due diligence is observed at every other stage from planting to harvest. Standard procedures for GRIN-Global Order Processing will be followed. Distributions outside of the U.S. will follow phytosanitary requirements of the recipient country, including import permits, phytosanitary certificates, and additional declarations. USDA-APHIS will be consulted regularly for the latest information on seed export. Seed shipments to other countries will be coordinated with the NGRL, Plant Exchange Office. Noxious weeds (Avena sterilis, Oryza rufipogon) will be distributed under USDA-APHIS permit. Accessions that fall under the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) will follow appropriate guidelines and will include agreement to the Standard Material Transfer Agreement by the recipient. Acquisition priorities include the wild relatives of Triticum, Hordeum, Avena, and Oryza to fill species and ecogeographic gaps in the crop collections. Highest priority will be for primary genepool relatives of these genera, identified in collaboration with the relevant CGCs. These gaps will be addressed by collection expeditions and exchanges with other genebanks as opportunities arise.