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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes » Research » Research Project #446102

Research Project: Conservation and Utilization of Genetic Resources and Associated Data for Perennial Crops Adapted to Mediterranean and Subtropical Climates

Location: Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes

Project Number: 2032-30100-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 15, 2024
End Date: May 14, 2028

The management of plant genetic resources for the collection of fruit and nut crops managed by NCGR-Davis is divided into two main objectives, where Objective 1 focuses on identifying backlogs in PGR management activities and developing new strategies and techniques to reduce them, while Objective 2 is focused on continued maintenance and service goals. During this 5-year cycle, a long-term management strategy will be developed to align with the overall NPGS Plan through the process outlined in Sub-objective 1.A. This strategy will directly inform genebank activities, and all work on this project will be enhanced and guided by this process. As the management strategy is developed, all genebank activities will continue as normal, though the priorities will continue to be refined. Objective 1: Conduct research to develop genetic resource maintenance, evaluation, or characterization methods and, in alignment with the overall NPGS Plan, apply them to priority genetic resources of grape, tree fruit, and tree nut crops adapted to Mediterranean and subtropical climates to avoid backlogs in genetic resource and information management. Sub-objective 1.A: Based on the data collected in the NPGS Plan, develop a long-term PGR management strategy for addressing current needs and avoiding future backlogs in the management of the NCGR-Davis crop collection. Sub-objective 1.B: Investigate and develop new PGR management methods for NCGR-Davis crops. Collect evaluation and characterization data and make it available through GRIN-Global and other data sources. Objective 2: Acquire, distribute, and maintain the safety, genetic integrity, health, and viability of priority genetic resources and associated descriptive information for grape, tree fruit, and tree nut crops adapted to Mediterranean and subtropical climates. Sub-objective 2.A: Strategically increase diversity (particularly species native to North America) in germplasm collections by addressing stakeholder-identified gaps through plant exploration and exchange. Continue to receive and propagate new material previously collected from APHIS quarantine. Sub-objective 2.B: Continue to maintain the highest possible availability, health, and safety of clonal germplasm in NCGR-Davis crops. Sub-objective 2.C: Distribute high-quality germplasm in the form of cuttings, budwood, pollen, seed, fruit and plant tissue to stakeholders worldwide.

1.A: Create a collaborative, realistic, data-driven management strategy to guide current and future genebank activities, including contingencies for the strategic utilization of increased funding. NCGR-Davis will produce a PGR management strategy that anticipates potential changes in resources. The completed strategy will include prioritized lists of backlogs to address by crop as well as plans for further reducing and preventing backlogs in the future and inform future research into new PGR management techniques. 1.B.1: Establish Prunus accessions in the colder winter environment of Geneva, NY to produce dormant budwood that can be successfully cryopreserved using established methods. 1.B.2: Apply established protocols for cryopreservation of other tree nut pollen (Prunus, walnut, pecan, hazelnut) to diverse accessions of Pistacia. 1.B.3: Develop alternative backup method for seed of wild Vitis accessions. 1.B.4: Develop new streamlined method for gathering phenology (budbreak and bloom time) data and apply to tree nut germplasm collections (almond, walnut, pistachio). Prunus accessions will be sent to PGRU for propagation in Geneva, NY. Following 2-3 seasons of growth, 200 dormant buds will be harvested in winter following at least 3 successive days at or below 0 ¿ and distributed to NLGRP for cryopreservation (1.B.1). NCGR will send pollen of 5 Pistacia accessions to NLGRP for testing. 30 mL of pollen will be sent to allow for 1mL aliquots to be removed from cryopreservation and tested over 2-3 years (1.B.2). NCGR will consult the grape Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) to devise a plan to represent grape accessions by seed. NCGR will execute crosses, extract seed, and transfer to NLGRP for backup. (1.B.3). NCGR will consult with CGCs (Prunus, Juglans, and Specialty Nuts) to develop a data collection protocol for phenology that can be completed at least once every 5 years for each tree nut crop, and complete one year of data collection for each (1.B.4). 2.A: Increase the available genetic diversity in germplasm collections of NCGR-Davis crops to support research and breeding. NCGR will coordinate with stakeholders to document needs through gap analyses and Crop Vulnerability Statements, then fill gaps wherever possible through germplasm exchange or exploration. 2.B.1: Preserve critical genetic diversity of NCGR-Davis crops through re-propagation and grafting of clonal perennial plants. 2.B.2: Continue to provide budwood and pollen for routine security backup at NLGRP. The priorities for this cycle are repropagating the almond, sweet cherry, and some of the walnut, pistachio, and grape collections. 2.C: Support research, breeding, and education by providing genetic resources, particularly those where NPGS is the only public source of PGR and associated information. Germplasm is distributed to researchers, breeders, and nurseries via requests through GRIN-Global, all requests are subject to curator review, and completing phytosanitary inspection if necessary. International requestors must agree to a Standard Material Transfer Agreement as required by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.