Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension
Non Technical Summary
Improving the current crop varieties or developing new crop varieties relies on available plant genetic resources acquired throughout the world and managed by the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Plant researchers in the western region have requested a large number of accessions from NPGS to use in both basic and applied research. As a crucial component of the NPGS, this project manages the genetic resources of cool season food and forage legumes, grasses, common beans, oilseeds, vegetables, beets, ornamentals, medicinal crops and related wild species. These introduced plant genetic resources harbor valuable genes or alleles for researchers and breeders to improve crop productivity for food security, to develop new varieties, to breed cultivars with improved resistance to diseases and pests and with resilience to environmental stresses such as drought and temperature extremes associated with climate change. The stakeholders and customers for this project include researchers, plant breeders, educators, and commercial producers in Alaska in particular, along withthe western states, in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Document the usage of plant genetic resources in the western 13 states, interact with user communities, and follow through with suggestions and recommendations to improve the operation of WRPIS in management and utilization of plant genetic resources and associated information.
Following the NPGS Distribution Guidelines approved by the Plant Germplasm Operations Committee in 2013, this project distributes germplasm free-of-charge and without restrictions for research, breeding, and education. The germplasm requests come in various ways: 1) completed request forms on the GRIN web page for REQUEST GERMPLASM, 2) an email from the requestor to the maintenance site or to: orders@ars-GRIN-Global.gov, and 3) phone, fax, e-mail, or regular mail from requestors directly to the curator with specific responsibility for the crop. We routinely fill and ship samples by regular US mail within 7-10 working days for all regular requests. Requestors can provide a courier account number for an expedited shipment of germplasm.Distributed materials and uses thereof are documented. For each germplasm request we assign an order number and record the contact information of the requestor including name, affiliation, address, phone number and email address and the general purpose of the requested germplasm. All the information is entered into our GRIN database, which tracks progress from the time a request for germplasm is received until the germplasm is distributed. We also request feedback from germplasm recipients to improve our service and to meet the needs of germplasm users in the scientific community. Alist of germplasm requestors residing in Alaska will be provided from the W6 GRIN database managerto the state representative, who will contact each germplasm recipient via email to solicit information regarding the NPGS service and germplasm usage. Some germplasm recipients provide answers to the questions on the condition of the requested material on arrival, the germination, the growth and development and other observations; the usefulness of the material, how the material was used (e.g. evaluation for adaptation, or used as donor parent in breeding or future plan to use) and the outcome derived from the material including news items and publications. Upon receiving the information the state representative will compile a summary report for the state. The highlights of NPGS germplasm usage will be shared at the annual Reginal Technical Advisory Committee (RTAC) meeting. A written report is submitted by the state representativeand each NPGS germplasm projectto the RTAC and discussed at the meeting. The participants of the meeting include the Administrative Advisor of this project, the ARS National Program Leader, the ARS Pacific West Area Associate Area Director, the Research Leader/Station Coordinator and representative staff members of this project and from other NPGS germplasm management projects in the Western Region. The RTAC assesses the service and research, analyzes customer needs and makes recommendations to administrators as well as to the station.