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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: The value of citrus genebanking

Author
item Volk, Gayle
item Lee, Richard
item Krueger, Robert

Submitted to: Citrograph
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2016
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Citation: Volk, G.M., Lee, R.F., Krueger, R. 2016. The value of citrus genebanking. Citrograph. 7(4):42-44.

Interpretive Summary: Access to diverse citrus genetic resources is critical for breeding new citrus cultivars that have higher quality fruit and improved resistance to pathogens and changing environmental conditions. The USDA-ARS National Clonal Repository for Citrus and Dates (NCGRCD) maintains a very diverse collection of more than 500 pathogen-tested accessions of citrus under protected screenhouse conditions in Riverside, California. The goal of our Citrus Research Board-funded research project titled “Cryopreservation of Critical Citrus Collections” was to develop and implement a method for long-term conservation of citrus cultivars at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation. This Citrograph Trade Journal article summarizes some of our results. We identified a novel strategy for cryopreservation that was used to process 167 high priority Citrus accessions from the NCGRCD. Of these, 84 accessions are predicted to have 60 or more viable shoot tips and 38 additional accessions are predicted to have 30 to 59 viable shoot tips in liquid nitrogen storage. Recovered plants that were transferred to the greenhouse flowered after 12 to 15 months, demonstrating that they did not revert back to the juvenile form. We also found that there were no changes from the initial viability levels after three years of storage. The technology developed and implemented in this project will ensure that citrus genetic resources are available for generations to come, even if the citrus collections in Riverside, California are threatened by biotic or environmental disasters.

Technical Abstract: Access to diverse citrus genetic resources is critical for breeding new citrus cultivars that have higher quality fruit and improved resistance to pathogens and changing environmental conditions. The USDA-ARS National Clonal Repository for Citrus and Dates (NCGRCD) maintains a very diverse collection of more than 500 pathogen-tested accessions of citrus under protected screenhouse conditions in Riverside, California. The goal of our Citrus Research Board-funded research project titled “Cryopreservation of Critical Citrus Collections” was to develop and implement a method for long-term conservation of citrus cultivars at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation. This Citrograph Trade Journal article summarizes some of our results. We identified a novel strategy for cryopreservation that was used to process 167 high priority Citrus accessions from the NCGRCD. Of these, 84 accessions are predicted to have 60 or more viable shoot tips and 38 additional accessions are predicted to have 30 to 59 viable shoot tips in liquid nitrogen storage. Recovered plants that were transferred to the greenhouse flowered after 12 to 15 months, demonstrating that they did not revert back to the juvenile form. We also found that there were no changes from the initial viability levels after three years of storage. The technology developed and implemented in this project will ensure that citrus genetic resources are available for generations to come, even if the citrus collections in Riverside, California are threatened by biotic or environmental disasters.