Location: Subtropical Horticulture ResearchTitle: World Saccharum Collection at the USDA Subtropical Research Station, National Germplasm Repository Miami, Florida
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), established a genebank, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Miami, Florida. This repository is devoted to conservation of subtropical and tropical fruit, sugarcane and related grasses and ornamental crops. A globally diverse collection of Saccharum germplasm has been assembled and expanded over the last 32 years. Unique sugarcane genotypes are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits, tested for virus contamination, documented in a national public germplasm database, and freely distributed to national and international researchers, government, educational, public and private organizations or individuals. The collection represent wild and hybrid populations. The Miami repository now maintains approximately 1200 clonal Saccharum accessions and about 50 of Miscanthus and other grasses. About 95% of the clonal collection has tested negative for common viruses and disease. During the past 4 years, 7000 items to 23 states and 8 foreign countries were distributed to researchers around the world. While originally conceived as a working collection for crop improvement, this genebank also provides the raw materials for basic genetic research, and preserves rare species, vulnerable landraces and historic cultivars. The NCGR collection serves as a laboratory and a classroom to promote the preservation of sugarcane genetic diversity for future generations.