Submitted to: International Safflower Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2001
Publication Date: 7/23/2001
Citation: Bradley, V.L., Johnson, R.C. Managing the U.S. safflower collection. In Proceedings of the Vth International Safflower Conference, Williston, North Dakota, Sidney, Montana, USA. 2001. p. 143-147
Interpretive Summary: Safflower produces seeds with a high quality edible oil and has numerous benefits in rotations with cereals and other crops. The Western Regional Plant Introduction Station maintains the USDA safflower collection for use by the research community. The collection consists of more than 2000 accessions from more than 50 countries. The maintenance program involves three main components: seed regeneration, evaluation, and documentation of data. New regeneration methods to prevent unwanted outcrossing among accessions while producing high quality seeds have been developed. In addition, diversity within accessions is being recorded and photographs showing morphological traits of accessions are being documented on the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). This work is improving the quality of seed and expanding the evaluation database available for the safflower collection.
Technical Abstract: There are currently 2,288 accessions of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) in the United States germplasm collection. The collection is maintained at the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station in Pullman, WA, USA. Major objectives in managing the collection include providing high quality seed and useful documentation and evaluation data to the germplasm user community. Accessions from the collection are distributed to scientists worldwide upon request and at no charge. Accessions must be regenerated when seed quantity or quality is low. In past regeneration nurseries, as many as 15 plants within a plot were covered with a single 1.25 meter-long, unsupported, screen bag. This practice reduced the quality of harvested seed. A new method of caging an entire regeneration plot in one screen cage, 7.5 meters long and supported by fence posts and wire, has been developed. Data on crop specific descriptors have been gathered on a large number of the accessions in the collection and entered into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Although these data reflect diversity among accessions they do not always reflect the within accessions diversity often observed. Therefore, the method of recording some of the descriptors has been modified. Images of 86 accessions have been downloaded into GRIN, allowing scientists to view morphological traits of individual accessions and provide visual clarification of descriptor data. Photographing and downloading images of the collection is an ongoing project. Improving the regeneration protocol and clarifying data in GRIN are key issues in the management of the U.S. safflower collection.