Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Project Number: 5090-21000-057-00
Start Date: Apr 24, 2013
End Date: Apr 23, 2018
We will systematically test potential improvements in germplasm preservation and handling techniques through various enhancers of seed germination, flowering and botanical seed yield, pollen viability, and improved methods of plant fertilization. We will acquire selected germplasm for the genebank from within the USA and abroad after consultation with state and federal advisory committees. We will classify germplasm with morphological and DNA marker assessments. We will preserve germplasm by performing seed increase of at least 200 accessions per year yielding >10,000 seeds on the populations with lowest seed numbers and germination, testing for disease, and backup in the national base collection at Ft. Collins, CO. We will distribute germplasm free of charge to federal, state, corporate and private clients in the US and abroad. We will evaluate genebank germplasm through partnerships with ARS, state, industry, and foreign scientists with expertise in various specialties of potato research. We also aim to continue to discover and describe simple physiological and genetic traits in-house. We will particularly seek evaluation projects studying nutritional potential in exotic germplasm. Evaluation of the patterns of genetic diversity in the genebank will be done using DNA markers. As in the past, the empirical evidence gained will be used to modify genebank techniques so the best practices are in place for maximizing the acquisition, preservation, and evaluation of genetic diversity in the genebank.