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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: Germplasm morgue or gold mine? Enhancing the value of plant genetic resource collections for plant breeding

Author
item Byrne, Pat - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Volk, Gayle
item Gardner, Candice
item Gore, Mike - CORNELL UNIVERSITY - NEW YORK
item Simon, Philipp
item Smith, Stephen - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: National Association of Plant Breeders
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/7/2017
Publication Date: 8/7/2017
Citation: Byrne, P., Volk, G.M., Gardner, C.A., Gore, M., Simon, P.W., Smith, S. 2017. Germplasm morgue or gold mine? Enhancing the value of plant genetic resource collections for plant breeding. National Association of Plant Breeders. Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Genetic diversity is the raw material that plant breeders require to develop cultivars that are productive, nutritious, pest and stress tolerant, and water and nutrient use efficient. The USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) contains a wealth of genetic diversity, including improved varieties, breeding lines, landraces, and crop wild relatives (CWR). However, too often the promise of benefits from our plant genetic resources is not matched by their actual usage in breeding programs. The Genetic Diversity Work Group of the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee has analyzed this situation and believes the NPGS will enhance its relevance to plant breeding with (1) continued attention to filling the gaps in NPGS collections, especially for CWR; (2) a concerted effort to phenotype and genotype accessions using standardized methods; (3) enriched information content of the GRIN-Global System and improved interoperability with other databases; (4) more attention to pre-breeding activities; (5) better training opportunities in practices for incorporating PGR in breeding programs; and (6) expanded outreach efforts to strengthen public support for the NPGS. These steps will be implemented most effectively through coordinated efforts among stakeholders, including USDA-ARS, universities, the private sector, and international partners.