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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Management and Evaluation of Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Resources and Associated Information

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

Project Number: 8020-21000-147-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 04, 2013
End Date: Apr 03, 2018

Objective:
1) Strategically expand and improve collections of priority woody landscape plant germplasm and associated information to close/minimize gaps of genetic, taxonomic, and/or ecogeographical coverage. Priority genera include, but are not limited to: boxwood (Buxus), ash (Fraxinus), magnolia (Magnolia), oaks (Quercus), and hemlocks (Tsuga). Coordinate efforts to extend and strengthen the North American Plant Collections Consortium’s (NAPCC) continent-wide ornamental plant germplasm conservation program. 1a. Survey existing domestic and international holdings of woody ornamental taxa to identify materials that would refine and fill significant gaps in National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) collections. Sub-objective 1b. Coordinate efforts to extend and strengthen the NAPCC continent-wide ornamental plant germplasm conservation program. 2) Conserve and regenerate priority NPGS woody landscape plant germplasm efficiently, and distribute samples and associated information worldwide. Regenerate, store, and/or maintain ex situ plantings of priority germplasm and associated information, emphasizing Lonicera, Magnolia, Rosa, Tsuga, and Viburnum. Increase to more than 40 percent the proportion of the collection holdings backed up at second sites, emphasizing critical back-ups of priority genera. 2a. Regenerate, store, and/or maintain ex situ plantings of priority germplasm and associated information, emphasizing Lonicera, Magnolia, Rosa, Tsuga, and Viburnum. 2b. Increase to more than 40 percent the proportion of the collection holdings backed up at second sites, emphasizing critical back-ups of genera identified in 2a. 2c. Distribute accessions and information that meet the specific needs of researchers, breeders, and growers. 3) Characterize and evaluate priority NPGS woody landscape plant germplasm for key traits, such as their taxonomic identity, genetic variability, tolerances to biotic and abiotic factors, invasiveness, and ornamental merit, thereby enhancing the utility of these genetic resources for research and breeding. Develop and apply new genetic markers for taxonomic identity, genetic diversity analyses, and population genetic structure for selected priority genera including Fraxinus americana and related species. Ensure that existing Acer accessions are correctly identified taxonomically, adequately documented, and noteworthy material released appropriately. Update and apply phenotypic descriptors for Acer, Viburnum and other priority taxa into Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). 3a. Develop and apply new genetic markers for taxonomic identity, genetic diversity analyses, and population genetic structure for selected priority genera including Fraxinus americana and related species. 3b. Ensure that existing Acer accessions are correctly identified taxonomically, adequately documented, and noteworthy material released appropriately. Update and apply phenotypic descriptors for Acer, Viburnum and other priority taxa into GRIN.

Approach:
Survey existing domestic and international holdings of woody ornamental taxa to identify materials that would refine and fill significant gaps in National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) collections. Strategically acquire samples and associated information for these taxa via exploration, contract collecting, and exchange, focusing on threatened, disjunct, or unique provenances. Ensure that all data are entered into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Train field reviewers, and develop regional recruiters and mentor network for public garden participation in national collections program. Emphasis will be placed on expanding efforts to address logistical issues such as preservation of genera which cross climatic zones and require multiple sites to preserve living accessions, e.g. multi-institutional approach to collections management. Increase quantity and quality of orthodox seed for long term storage and increase effective preservation of recalcitrant species through distribution and establishment of active collections. Regenerate threatened or historical accessions at WLPGR and USNA. Maintain current availability lists of germplasm for distribution, coordinate with the USNA main collections, and upload GRIN data on a regular basis for new accessions and matriculating germplasm from active collections. Screen Fraxinus germplasm samples for ploidy level that are deposited at the USDA-ARS NPGS repository at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa and supplement with new collections to expand the range of F. americana covered. Use molecular markers to assess diversity and relationships within Fraxinus americana. Collect herbarium vouchers of Acer in WLPGR and USNA living collections, verify identities, and elucidate taxonomic problems in cultivated Acer. Identify elite material in WLPGR collections for nursery evaluation and introduction. Distribute accessions and information that meet the specific needs of researchers, breeders, and growers.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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