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Research Project: Innovations that Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Managing and Preserving Ex Situ Plant Germplasm Collections

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Title: Identification and conservation of apple genetic diversity

Author
item Volk, Gayle

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2015
Publication Date: 7/28/2015
Citation: Volk, G.M. 2015. Identification and conservation of apple genetic diversity. National Association for Plant Breeders, Pullman, WA. July 28-30, 2015. Pg.21.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) maintains a vast collection of plant genetic resources that includes over 570,000 accessions representing nearly 15,000 species. This collection is dispersed amongst 17 active sites throughout the United States. The NPGS base collection at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation is among the largest gene banks in the world. We have focused on documenting the diversity of the NPGS Apple Collection maintained in Geneva, NY, and on proposing methods to capture genetic diversity that is not yet represented. We have sought to make the collection more useful to breeding programs by identifying core subsets and as well as relationships among domesticated apples and their progenitor species. Recently, we reviewed historical documentation of apple varieties in the US and determined the availability of key historical cultivars in US and English apple collections. In the process of developing a Global Conservation Strategy for Apple, we surveyed international apple collections and summarized key features such as species inventories and accessibility. These efforts to understand the diversity of global apple genetic resources will help ensure access to germplasm for breeding and research programs.

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) maintains a vast collection of plant genetic resources that includes over 570,000 accessions representing nearly 15,000 species. This collection is dispersed amongst 17 active sites throughout the United States. The NPGS base collection at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation is among the largest gene banks in the world. We have focused on documenting the diversity of the NPGS Apple Collection maintained in Geneva, NY, and on proposing methods to capture genetic diversity that is not yet represented. We have sought to make the collection more useful to breeding programs by identifying core subsets and as well as relationships among domesticated apples and their progenitor species. Recently, we reviewed historical documentation of apple varieties in the US and determined the availability of key historical cultivars in US and English apple collections. In the process of developing a Global Conservation Strategy for Apple, we surveyed international apple collections and summarized key features such as species inventories and accessibility. These efforts to understand the diversity of global apple genetic resources will help ensure access to germplasm for breeding and research programs.