Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Seed collections are often very large with numerous entries that require a great deal of time, money, and effort to maintain. Some of these seed collections have the same variety identified under two or more different numbers. These duplicates cost money for the seed collection personnel to maintain, reproduce new seed, and store separate seed samples of identical varieties. This study reports a method of using historic information, successfully used in the U. S. white clover seed collection, to identify, combine, or eliminate these duplicate seed samples. Over 80 duplicates were eliminated from the white clover collection, resulting in a savings of over $40,000 in seed production costs alone. Additionally, future researchers will not waste time and money evaluating the same white clover variety under two separate identification numbers. This method should be used in seed collections of other crops to eliminate additional duplicate varieties.
Technical Abstract: One area that is often overlooked in the management of many germplasm collections is the elimination of duplicate and genetically redundant accessions. The purpose of this communication is to (i) describe a simple and effective procedure used in the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) white clover (Trifolium repens L.) collection for identifying and eliminating duplicate cultivar accessions, and (ii) discuss the potential gain in management efficiency that results from eliminating duplicates. The Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) and Plant Inventory books were reviewed to ensure accessions were properly identified and to detect suspect duplicates. Additional historic documentation (PI Station card catalogs, acquisition logs, correspondence, and reports) was reviewed to characterize suspect duplicate accessions. Morphological data was obtained to supplement historic information. The white clover collection has forty-two cultivars which occurred more than once in the collection, involving 133 of 626 accessions. Based on our review, thirty-five accessions were retained with no change, 39 accessions were bulked into 16 new accessions, and 59 accessions were designated as inactive, resulting in a net reduction of 82 accessions (13% of total collection). This results in a savings of $41,000 ($500 cage-1) in regeneration costs alone. Eliminating duplicates is an effective method of reducing germplasm maintenance costs without losing valuable genetic resources.