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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314695

Research Project: Plant Genetic Resource Acquisition and Conservation Strategies, International Germplasm ... for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: The GRIN-Taxonomy Crop Wild Relative Inventory. Pp 453-457 in Maxted, N., Mulloo, M.E., Ford-Lloyd, B.V. Enhancing crop genepool use: capturing wild relative and landrace diversity for crop improvement

Author
item Wiersema, John
item BLANCA, LEON - University Of Texas

Submitted to: CABI(Council of Applied Biology International, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2015
Publication Date: 5/9/2016
Citation: Wiersema, J.H., Leon, B. 2016. The GRIN-Taxonomy Crop Wild Relative Inventory. Pp 453-457 in Maxted, N., Mulloo, M.E., Ford-Lloyd, B.V. Enhnacing crop genepool use: capturing wild relative and landrace diversity for crop improvement. CABI(Council of Applied Biology International, Oxford, United Kingdom. 453-457.

Interpretive Summary: All crops important to American agriculture, including our major food plants, came originally from wild ancestors, most of which still survive in natural habitats around the world. These ancestors and their closest wild relatives remain a critical source of genes that can be tapped to overcome crop disease or pest problems and make other improvements to crop yields, processing, or nutritional quality. However, for various reasons the places where many of these crop wild relatives are found are gradually being destroyed, along with the plants that grow there. To help save these wild relatives we must first determine what they are, where they are, and which ones are the most important to conserve. In 2008 the Plant Exchange Office of the Agricultural Research Service of USDA began a project to obtain this information for all important U.S. crops. The wild relatives of all major temperate grain, vegetable, and fruit crops have now been identified, and the work continues on identifying the relatives of other food and forage crops, including tropical ones. The information generated by this project will strengthen global food security by helping to preserve these plants and their genes for use by future generations.

Technical Abstract: In order to provide an informational tool for assessing and prioritizing germplasm needs for ex situ conservation in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), the USDA Agricultural Research Service in 2008 initiated a project to identify crop wild relatives (CWR) of major and minor crops. Each crop's CWR were evaluated from a thorough review of the taxonomic and crop science literature, integrating taxonomic, phylogenetic, ploidy, reproductive biology, artificial and natural hybridization, and other data to determine their potential for hybridization with that crop. The degree of genetic relatedness of the CWR to a crop was thereby partitioned into three categories approximating the primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools. A fourth category, for CWR used as rootstocks or in the breeding of rootstocks for grafting scions of a crop, was also recorded. We have now completed initial work on 130 crops in over 70 genera, documented the basis for our decisions, solicited crop specialist reviews, integrated the data into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), and developed a public interface to query the resulting information in relation to other GRIN taxonomic and distributional data. The web presentation of these crops and their CWR allows for further peer-reviewed evaluation and participation.