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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Crop Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa

Project Number: 5030-21000-058-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 14, 2013
End Date: Apr 13, 2018

Objective:
Objective 1: Conserve, regenerate, back-up, monitor viability, conduct diagnostic disease testing, and distribute genetic resources and associated information for maize, sunflowers, vegetables, oilseeds, ornamentals, sweet clover, temperate-adapted millets, herbs, medicinal plants and related wild species. 1A. Monitor accessions for viability and phytosanitary health to ensure availability of healthy propagules and to preserve their genetic integrity. 1B. Regenerate and conserve more than 53,000 accessions efficiently and effectively. 1C. Backup accessions at second sites, increasing the proportion of accessions backed up to more than 83% of 2012 holdings. 1D. Distribute germplasm and associated information to support research objectives. Objective 2: In collaboration with the Database Management Unit, cooperators, and stakeholders, develop, enhance, and deploy GRIN-Global to provide superior user interfaces and expanded capacities to manage genetic resource management information. Objective 3: Elucidate geospatial patterns of genetic divergence, diversity, and adaptation especially for maize, spinach wild relatives, ash, Apiaceae, amaranths, and wild and cultivated oilseed species, and apply that knowledge to genetic resource acquisition, development of core subsets, and other curatorial operations. 3A. Collect geospatial, genetic, and phenotypic information for key cultivated crops and their wild relatives, including maize, spinach, ash, Apiaceae, amaranth, and oilseeds, conduct analyses to determine gaps in collection holdings and/or information, and apply results to curatorial decision-making. 3B. Acquire samples and associated information of North American and Asian Fraxinus, potential ornamental and medicinal taxa, wild and/or cultivated oilseed, vegetable, and forage crops to address current gaps and stakeholder research needs (especially crop wild relatives), and elite crop germplasm such as varieties with expired intellectual property rights. Objective 4: Conduct genetic characterizations and phenotypic evaluations of the preceding crops - especially maize, sunflower, carrots and related wild species - for priority genetic and agronomic traits, including evaluating sunflowers for host-plant resistance to Sclerotinia and refining molecular detection methods for differentiating Pantoea stewartii (Stewart’s wilt pathogen) from related species. 4A. In cooperation with ARS, university and private sector collaborators, conduct genetic characterizations and phenotypic evaluations of selected crops for priority genetic and agronomic traits, including host-plant resistance to disease, pest, and abiotic stresses. Incorporate data into GRIN/GRIN-Global and/or other databases. 4B. Refine molecular detection methods for differentiating Pantoea stewartii from related species to support development and implementation of accurate detection procedures.

Approach:
Obj 1: Regeneration/management focus on species or accessions is subject to demand for plant germplasm/genetic resources (PGR), external pressures, and prioritized using many factors. Controlled pollination techniques will be used for regeneration in field and greenhouse plantings, meeting pollination and biological requirements. Seeds/plantings will be monitored for disease and assayed for pathogen identity. Phytosanitary precautions will be implemented at several points to preclude seed-borne pathogens. Seed lots will be backed up at the NCGRP and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Periodic germinations will assess collection quality and health to assure their security, and new protocols developed. Quality PGR and information will be distributed to support research objectives based on criteria, applicable phytosanitary, importation or IP restrictions, threatened/endangered status, noxious weed status, etc., which may govern distribution or use. Obj 2: In collaboration with the DBMU, cooperators and stakeholders, develop/enhance/deploy GRIN-Global (GG) to provide superior user interfaces and expanded capacities to manage PGR information. We will enhance/optimize the Curator Tool, Search Tool, Order Wizard, and Accession Wizard; develop wizards to manage crop traits, inventory, and images; oversee system architecture; enhance system design to simplify installation/maintenance. Collaborate with model organism and other information system providers to simplify and streamline data delivery by supporting more data formats delivered by the middle tier, thus facilitating information access/retrieval with other providers to join GG System information with theirs in order to support complex analytical needs. Obj 3: Geospatial, genetic, phenotypic and other information resources for key cultivated crops and crop wild relatives (CWR) will be collected; analyses will help determine gaps in collection holdings and/or information, establish/analyze accession relationships, and refine management strategies. Climatic site analogs for known occurrence of taxa will be used to determine support for occurrence of unique crops and CWR in areas representing 1°, 2°, or 3° gene pools. Collection plans to acquire key diverse PGR will be developed using research, stakeholder input, and assistance of PEO personnel. Collection opportunities, climatic and social/political considerations impact priorities. Results will support curatorial decision-making and better representation of ecogeographic and genetic diversity. Obj 4: Collaborative genetic/genomic characterization and phenotypic evaluations for priority traits, i.e. host-plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, will be conducted. During the regeneration process, phenotypic descriptors will be captured using accepted data standards. Molecular detection methods for differentiating Pantoea stewartii from related species will be refined to support development and implementation of accurate detection procedures. Data will be incorporated into GRIN/GG or other databases. Trait ontologies will be aligned with GRIN/GG descriptors to facilitate interoperability and for the benefit of research communities.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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