Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2010
Publication Date: 6/14/2010
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P. 2010. Building a Comprehensive Collection of Ash Germplasm [abstract]. 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress - Conference Program and Book of Abstracts. p. 114-115.
Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has conserved Fraxinus germplasm at the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) since the 1970s. When Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) was first found in the US, the NCRPIS maintained limited seed collections that poorly represented variation in EAB-susceptible, North American species or in co-evolved Asian species. To rectify this, it became clear that thorough sampling of Fraxinus germplasm would require multi-institutional collaboration. Fortunately, various agencies were already mobilizing American collectors, and collaborations were quickly established to collect seeds in China. The NPGS recognized the need to assemble these collections for long-term preservation and for their selective integration into the NCRPIS's working collection. In 2009, interested parties met to develop standard collection and documentation protocols and comprehensive collection strategies, based on geographically stratified sampling of native populations of North American species, while recognizing the urgency to collect in regions being colonized by EAB. Recently, much progress has been made; the NCRPIS now conserves 267 accessions. Seed storage can also be complemented by cryogenic storage of vegetative buds. Together, these efforts are creating a publicly accessible, comprehensive collection to support research on EAB, Fraxinus genetics, and the eventual restoration of Fraxinus.