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Title: Building a Comprehensive Collection of Ash Germplasm

item Widrlechner, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2010
Publication Date: 3/9/2010
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P. 2010. Building a Comprehensive Collection of Ash Germplasm [abstract]. Symposium of Ash in North America. p. 23-24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has conserved seed collections of ash germplasm at the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, IA since the 1970s. When Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was introduced into southeastern MI, the NCRPIS maintained a relatively small ash germplasm collection with limited accessions of North American ash species (vulnerable to EAB) or of Asian ash that co-evolved with the pest. As plans to address this collection gap were made, it became clear that proper sampling of North American and Asian ash requires multi-institutional collaboration. Fortunately, efforts were already underway within the USDA-NRCS, USDA-FS, and other public and tribal organizations to collect in the U.S., and a project was initiated with the Morton Arboretum and Beijing Botanical Garden in China. The NPGS recognized the value in assembling the collections made by these parties for long-term preservation at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Ft. Collins, CO and for the selective integration of those samples into the NCRPIS ash collection. In January 2009, a meeting convened researchers involved with ash-seed collection to develop standard collection and documentation protocols and a comprehensive collection plan. The strategy centers on stratified sampling of native populations of all North American ash species, accounting for taxonomy, ecogeography, and the urgency to collect in areas being colonized by EAB. Since 2007, considerable progress has been made, with the NCRPIS now conserving 237 accessions (78% North American). Seed storage can also be complemented by cryogenic storage of dormant vegetative buds, with protocols recently developed in collaboration with NCGRP.