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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Temperate Forage Legume Genetic Resource Management, Characterization, and Evaluation

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing

Project Number: 5348-21000-025-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 29, 2013
End Date: Jan 28, 2018

Objective:
Objective 1: Conserve, regenerate, back-up, and distribute genetic resources and associated information for temperate forage legume genetic resources and related wild species. Sub-objective 1A. Regenerate 150-200 accessions of Medicago, Trifolium, and Lotus per year, and develop pure lines for the entire Medicago truncatula germplasm collection. Sub-objective 1B. Acquire and conserve Medicago, Trifolium and Lotus Crop wild relatives (CWR) and help develop a national strategy for conserving U.S. CWR. Objective 2: Elucidate geospatial patterns of genetic divergence, diversity, and adaptation in temperate forage legumes, and apply that knowledge to manage ex situ genetic resources and in situ, dynamic conservation of selected taxa. Sub-objective 2A. Spatially analyze patterns of genetic, morphologic and ecogeographic diversity in the Medicago truncatula collection to validate and refine the core subset, and better understand how diversity is distributed in the NPGS HAPMAP subset. Sub-objective 2B. Assess whether 120 annual medic accessions collected in the Crimea peninsula in 2008 should be incorporated into the NPGS collection. Sub-objective 2C. Examine patterns of genetic differentiation, diversity and adaptation among 200 accessions of alfalfa crop wild relatives to identify traits that can be used in breeding efforts since they are positively associated with adaptation to stress environments. Objective 3: Conduct small-scale characterizations and evaluations of forage legume genetic resources for priority genetic and agronomic traits. Sub-objective 3A. Digitally capture diagnostic images of floral, fruit, and seed characteristics of regenerated germplasm. Sub-objective 3B. Using existing GRIN characterization and observation data and ecogeographic data based on collection site, conduct a Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS) to evaluate the red and white clover collections for priority agronomic traits, including disease and insect resistance. Objective 4: Characterize landscape-scale transgene flow for alfalfa, and apply that knowledge to develop mitigation strategies for maintaining genetic purity of alfalfa germplasm accessions and for commercial production of alfalfa hay and seed stocks for genetically engineered-sensitive markets. Sub-objective 4A. Assess the flow of Round Up Ready genes along commercial-scale genetically engineered alfalfa hay and seed production pathways taking into account different landscape factors and pollinators. Sub-objective 4B. Monitor for the presence of transgenic alfalfa pollen at the Prosser, WA regeneration site and determine the feasibility of routinely testing new acquired accessions from domestic sources and newly regenerated germplasm for adventitious presence of GE traits.

Approach:
Regeneration will use best management practices to maintain genetic integrity of individual accessions. Due to the commercialization of GMO alfalfa, additional measures will be implemented to ensure the collection remains free of transgene contamination. Acquisition of new germplasm will be achieved through collecting and germplasm exchange. Using techniques of geospatial analysis, molecular, morphological and environmental data will be used to elucidate geospatial patterns of genetic divergence, diversity, and adaptation in temperate forage legumes. Field-based characterization and evaluations will be conducted for priority genetic and agronomic traits, including digitally captured diagnostic images of floral, fruit, and seed characteristics of regenerated germplasm. Characterization/evaluation data will be uploaded into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Global) database. Using techniques of spatial modeling, landscape-scale transgene flow will be examined for alfalfa, and information used to develop mitigation strategies for maintaining genetic purity of alfalfa germplasm accessions and for commercial production of alfalfa hay and seed stocks for genetically engineered-sensitive markets.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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