NC7: Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources

(Multistate Research Project)

Status: Active

NC7: Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources

Duration: 10/01/2017 to 09/30/2022

Administrative Advisor(s):


NIFA Reps:


Statement of Issues and Justification

Need as determined by stakeholders:


The conservation, management and utilization of plant genetic resources, also known as germplasm, enable harnessing genetic diversity to create and sustain agricultural production systems, necessary for economic security, and a stable and healthy society. Germplasm, both the genetic material (genes, groups of genes, chromosomes) that controls heredity and the tissues, organs and organisms that express the variation contained in that genetic material, provides the essential building blocks to ensure future improvements in production and quality, and for innovations in crop development and utilization. Diverse germplasm is crucial to our ability to continually refine cultivars, inputs, production systems, markets and end-use processes to respond to production challenges and to support changing societal needs for food, feed, fiber, bioenergy, and aesthetic uses.  Genetic resources in combination with water, air, soil, minerals and crop management practices, together with cultural and market forces define the agricultural production systems that sustain humanity.  These resources comprise the essence of our environment and consequently, our quality of life by providing crucial ecological services and valued aesthetic qualities.  


Plant genetic resources acquired throughout the world and conserved at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, IA serve a crucial role in supporting and sustaining humanity.  This project is part of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), to conserve, characterize, evaluate, and distribute germplasm and associated information to researchers, educators, and commercial producers.  It addresses multiple priorities, including global food security, value-added genes in conventional breeding and molecular biology, new plant species for agricultural production, nutritional quality of plant and food products, and natural resource and ecosystem quality. 


The Maize Crop Germplasm Committee, a stakeholder advisory group, noted in their 2016 update to the maize crop vulnerability statement that “Maize … is the most important crop in the United States and one of the top three cereals in world calorie production.  The United States is the world’s leading exporter of maize.  Because of the importance of the crop to the United States’ economy and the world food supply, it is essential that maize germplasm be protected, maintained, and enhanced.”  Similar stakeholder input on other NCRPIS crops provides strong evidence of the need for this project.


Importance of the problem


As the major grain production area in the world, the vitality of the agricultural system of the USA and the North Central Region (NCR) in particular is crucial to global food security. Historically, many of the region’s crops were not indigenous to the U.S. Diverse plant genetic resources for use in crop development and associated information are vital to ensure the continued productivity of this region, given ever changing environmental and societal needs.  Production of corn and other non-native crop species has helped the NCR become the world’s major grain production area. Therefore, the health of the agricultural system of the NCR is crucial to global food security, and increasingly to security of U.S. energy production.  Expanded use of crops for ethanol, biodiesel, or ‘drop in’ fuels is considered fundamental to U.S. security, and nutritional quality is fundamental to food security, health and well-being. 


Increased diversification of crops that can be integrated into existing sustainable production systems without compromising acres devoted to food use, and that can extend the period of capture of solar energy are high priorities.  Integrated cropping strategies that maximize use of targeted genetic resources will contribute to improved soil and water quality; successful innovations will enhance the economic viability of producers and provide new market alternatives, and will support national rural development and environmental quality objectives.  Areas within the NCR utilize plant diversity to different degrees in their agricultural production, some extensively; yet abiotic, biotic and market pressures threaten profitability and therefore the sustainability of existing crop production. New species must also be evaluated for invasive potential, and appropriate risk assessments made concerning their introduction into new geographic areas. 


Prior to the use of petroleum for energy production, society depended much more intimately on plant products for fuel and industrial feedstocks. Society is looking once again to agricultural-production solutions for its energy and industrial raw-material needs, and research and development related to potential utilization of alternative plant species for energy production and for food, fuel, fiber, medicinal or nutriceutical, and biobased products are all increasing in priority. Demand for the oilseeds collections for biofuel and industrial product applications as well as for food production has dramatically increased.  Developing an understanding of selectable traits and the underlying genetic variation that can contribute to these objectives is challenging. 


Because water is a limiting factor for production in many areas of the globe as well as in the U.S., development of drought-tolerant varieties is an important objective. Climate change has resulted in increased variability in both rainfall and temperature; research on increased tolerance to both extreme heat and cold conditions during sensitive growth stages is crucial to identify phenotypes and associated genetic mechanisms to deal with these challenges.  Nutritional needs also drive demand for plant genetic resources, especially for the vegetable collections.  Crop production on marginally productive lands threatens ecosystem and production system sustainability, and positive impacts on rural development are needed. Understanding how to manage and produce new crops is a complex task, and important in order to minimize economic and environmental risks and maximize benefits to producers, end-users and consumers. The Department of Energy actively engages NCR and researchers in plant breeding and genetics, biochemistry, germplasm curation, agronomy, and various technologies to understand the energy potential of new and established crops.   


Technical feasibility


Diverse germplasm collections are developed and maintained at the NCRPIS in excellent cold storage facilities, and well-developed building and land infrastructure is available.  The NCRPIS has been partially funded by Regional (now Multi-State) Project NC-007 since 1947 and by the USDA-ARS.  Iowa State University serves as its host institution and provides excellent in kind and administrative support.  The NCRPIS was the first Regional Plant Introduction Station in the U.S., and has served as a major component of the network of 20 NPGS sites for the last 68 years.  The NCRPIS maintains and provides plant genetic resources, associated information, and a wide variety of technical and leadership services devoted to substantially improving agricultural technology in the U.S. and abroad.  In 2003, it was designated by the USDA-ARS as a mission-critical site.  Its staff led the collaboration to replace the legacy Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN) with the GRIN-Global System, designed to support any genebank’s information management needs. 


Through use of the products of plant genome sequencing efforts, statistics, and bioinformatics tools, researchers are integrating phenotypic, genomic, and metabolic information in order to understand gene function and expression in ways never before possible. These efforts will enable innovative uses of plant genetic resources and new impacts and benefits to society.


Advantages of Multi-State effort:


Crop collections important to the North Central Region have been supported since 1947 through the partnerships with Multi-State Project NC-007, the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) of the NCR, and Iowa State University.  For 69 years NC-007 has served as a major repository within the NPGS and supported the activities of NCR and global researchers, educators, and producers to improve crop production genetics and technologies.  The Multi-State Participants have used these germplasm and information resources to improve crop genetics and production technologies, and to enhance the health and nutrition of society.  


Since 1954, the NCRPIS has coordinated a cooperative network involving the NCR’s State Agricultural Experiment Stations, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and public gardens and arboreta to conduct long-term evaluations of promising new trees and shrubs.  This network collects and summarizes performance data that shed light on plant-environment interactions and provide practical advice to landscape professionals.  The NCR is an especially challenging region for the cultivation of trees and shrubs, with its climatic extremes, grassland soils, and increasing urbanization.  Furthermore, new biotic stresses caused by the rise of new pests and diseases, such as Emerald Ash Borer or the Asian longhorned beetle, present special challenges that can only be addressed by ensuring the ongoing availability of a diverse array of well-adapted landscape plants. Today, maize genetic resources are contributing to the search for genetic resistance to Maize Lethal Necrosis, a relatively new disease that is devastating production of many African farmers. 


Because of the diversity of environments and needs in the North Central Region, and the diversity of research interests and expertise available, it is only logical and fitting that a multi-disciplinary effort utilizing the talents of all interested researchers be rigorously applied to develop and test potential solutions to these many challenges.


Benefits and impacts


The impacts of secure and successful germplasm conservation, management, enhancement and utilization can be measured in the introduction of economically viable new crops and cultivars and new uses for existing crops based on a thorough understanding of their traits and properties, including nutritional, chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial and aesthetic applications.  Genetic and phenotypic information, coupled with bioinformatics applications, will enhance our ability to understand and realize the inherent value of the plant genetic resources.  Impacts will also result from development of a fundamental understanding of the nature and biology of genetic diversity, how it interacts with and is influenced by environment, and the resulting discoveries, inventions and applications which benefit society. The researchers of the NCR and curatorial staff of the NCRPIS provide training for the next generation of plant scientists and curators, providing opportunity to sustain societal needs through agricultural innovation. 


Stakeholders


The stakeholders for this project include researchers, educators, and commercial producers worldwide who request and utilize the plant genetic resources and associated information.  The NC-007 Regional Technical Advisory Committee (RTAC) members directly contribute to this project; these members include many of the stakeholders.  The RTAC members are enriched by the exchange of information and in depth discussion of related issues offered by this forum.  Many other stakeholders are involved with the eleven Crop Germplasm Committees that meet annually (or periodically) to discuss acquisition, evaluation, management, and utilization of NC-007 genetic resources.  Information is provided both via the web interface to the GRIN-Global database and personally by curators to aid users in selecting optimal plant genetic resources to meet their research and education objectives.  These users range from public sector research and education programs, to large multi-national and small local seed and life science companies, from organic to advanced technology high yielding production, and a wide array of basic, applied, and theoretical research.

Related, Current and Previous Work

Conservation of, and access to plant genetic resource (PGR) collections is essential to global food security. Crop production has many challenges, with climate variation now considered a primary threat. Studies have shown that while some geographic areas show no significant interference due to climate variability, in substantial food production areas more than 60% of yield variability can be explained by climate variability, and 32-39% of global maize, rice, wheat and soybean annual production variability, and a third of global crop yield variability. (Ray et al., 2014) Genetic sources of resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, as well as novel traits, can be identified and captured from crop wild relatives, landraces, farmer selections, and heirloom varieties, as well as from elite germplasm for varietal improvement. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of germplasm is essential to successful utilization of plant genetic resources.


The NC-007 Project was established in 1947 to enable federal and state cooperators to participate in coordinated efforts to acquire, regenerate, maintain, characterize, evaluate, document, distribute, and utilize plant genetic resources of agronomic and horticultural crops valued for food, feed, fiber, energy, industrial, landscape, and medicinal and/or nutraceutical purposes, and encourages their use in research and crop development. Establishment of the Plant Introduction Stations was a result of recognition by legislators of the importance of genetic variability to research and development efforts to ensure food and economic security, and access to PGR.


The North Central Regional (NCR) Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) is one of 20 seed and clonal germplasm repositories in the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), and a collaborative effort of the Iowa State University (ISU), the Agricultural Experiment Stations (AES) of the 12 North Central Region States, and is co-located with the USDA-ARS Plant Introduction Research Unit (PIRU). Located near ISU in Ames, the ISU AES serves as the NCRPIS’ host institution, and the Experiment Station Director serves as Administrative Advisor for the NC-007 project.


The NCR and other NC-007 participants directly benefit from use of the NPGS germplasm collections to accomplish research objectives, and active collaborations with the NCRPIS staff. The efforts of the genebank and the Multi-State Project participants are complementary, resulting in unique advancements in germplasm utilization, providing solutions for agricultural challenges, and increased understanding of biological and genetic diversity.


Every state in the NCR conducts germplasm research connected with Multi-State Research Project NC-007. A search of the Current Research Information System (CRIS), (http://cris.csrees.usda.gov/) for current projects involving plant genetic resources (queried for plant introductions; plant genetic resources; germplasm; germplasm banks; plant breeding; plant genetics; etc.) resulted in identification of more than 150 active NCR projects. The diverse foci and applications of these efforts reflect the complexity of needs, environments, challenges and opportunities which NC-007 participants must address (examples follow). The Literature Cited section of this proposal is divided into two parts, those directly cited in this proposal, and those for which this space cannot allow discussion.


NC-007 germplasm has been obtained from over 167 countries over the last 114 years, growing from 332 (in 1948) to 54,073 accessions in, currently representing 360 genera, with 2,051 taxa of 1,770 species (Appendix Figure 1 and Appendix Table 1). The NPGS system collectively maintains 576,325 accessions, about 9% of which are held at the NCRPIS (Appendix Table 2). NC-007 germplasm is also utilized by researchers worldwide, and contributes to understanding the nature and complexity of genetic diversity and its application to cultivar development, providing resources to address production challenges, genomic discovery, ecological and ethnobotanical-related research, improved human and livestock nutrition and health, feedstocks for an array of applications including bioenergy, and many other benefits to society.


A collaboration since 2007 between the USDA-ARS, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and Bioversity International resulted in development of the GRIN-Global (GG) System. GG was designed to provide the world’s crop genebanks with a powerful, flexible, global plant genetic resource information management system. It provides for efficient and effective management of germplasm information, supports curatorial workflows, and encourages the use of these resources by researchers, breeders, and farmer-producers (Postman et al, 2010). The US NPGS and seven other international genebank systems have implemented GRIN-Global and others are in the process (Appendix Figure 3). In the US, it replaced the legacy GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) system. Project management and development leadership were provided by NCRPIS staff in conjunction with Database Management Unit staff who administer the database in Beltsville, MD. More than 140 internationals participated in testing, and V 1.0 released to the international community in 2011. NCRPIS staff continue to serve as developers, supporting an array of functions, including as business analyst, trainers, testers, and on the GRIN-Global Advisory Committee.


Related, Current and Previous Work of NC-007 Participants


California
Investigations have found that the variation provided by having a diversity of genotypes is difficult for insect herbivores to cope with and may provide a form of resistance missing from monocultures of a single genotype (Wetzel et al., 2016). Different accessions of sagebrush have different volatile profiles with some unique compounds. These unique compounds appear to have biological activity and may provide clues about the language of plant communication (Karban et al., 2016).


Illinois
Extensive research has focused on Miscanthus, a crop of intense interest for bioenergy, to determine the genetic and productive potential of members of this genus. Projects have focused on local analysis for quantitative traits impacting biomass (Gifford et al, 2014); the ecological characteristics and genetic associations for yield component traits of wild Miscanthus in situ in eastern Russia (Clark et al, In Press); use of phenotypic and molecular information and genome size to differentiate distinct taxonomic groups among accessions (Chae et al, 2014); and exploration of chilling tolerance, and whether the trait can be transferred from this C4 photosynthetic plant to sugarcane(Glowacka et al., 2014, 2015).


Researchers have also focused on different aspects of genetic variation in broccoli associated with control of phytochemical produced (Ku et al., 2014a, Gardner et al, In Press), in kale (Ku et al., 2014b), and in horseradish, and their impact on product quality (Ku et al, 2015).


Iowa
Double haploid technology is provided via the ISU Double Haploid (DH) facility. The facility has collaborated with NCRPIS personnel to release 204 double haploid maize inbred lines, designated as BGEM lines, from exotic maize races. They are used to investigate an array of traits and genes, including seedling root growth (Abdel-Ghani et al, 2015; Pace et al., 2015a,b) bioenergy-related traits (Brenner et al., 2012; Chen et al., 2014) and to identify novel alleles contributed by the exotic donors.


Genetic improvements made for many crops during the last 70 years were aided by increased capacity to evaluate larger numbers of potential selections through mechanization of planting, cultivation and harvest, use of multi-hemisphere programs, and computational infrastructure. In the 1940s a breeding program might evaluate hundreds of lines to identify a few superior cultivars over a period of 10-15 years. Today commercial maize and soybean programs evaluate millions of progeny annually to identify superior cultivars in half the time, but at higher cost. Plant breeders must rapidly deploy genes that will enable plants to adapt to changing environments while increasing the rate of genetic gain for yield. Like the mechanical arts of 100 years ago, plant breeding is undergoing transformation to an engineering discipline capable of designing systems in which trade-offs among competing breeding objectives can be quantitatively assessed (Beavis, 2015).


A project is underway to discover alleles associated with adaptive agronomic traits in sorghum, such as flowering time and plant height, development of predictive models for adaptive agronomic traits, and development of breeding designs that assure optimal genetic improvement strategies, and implementation of accelerated genetic improvement strategies for adaptive agronomic traits (Salas Fernandez, 2015).


Kansas
Cropping systems in Kansas are subject to a wide variation of climate extremes, including variation in spring and fall frost dates, rainfall, temperature extremes, and insects. The duration of the Kansas cropping season has increased, irrigation and other production costs continue to increase, and alternative cropping systems have been explored using a variety of crop resources, including canola and camelina in combination with wheat. Canola cultivar releases and management recommendations based on agronomic studies, disease evaluation and winter injury evaluations (Damicone et al., 2016, Stamm et al., 2016)) have contributed to growers’ cropping options and profitability.


Michigan
Geneticists continue efforts to improve tart cherry varieties, strawberries, and a variety of vegetables, including cucumber. Highly variable spring temperatures with periods of warm temperatures sufficient to result in bud break followed by periods of freezing temperature have caused severe economic losses to cherry producers. Efforts are devoted to developing cultivars with superior fruit quality and disease resistance compared to ‘Montmorency’, the primary tart cherry cultivar grown. Genetic control of fruit size and bloom time, and gametophytic self-incompatibility systems are very important. Nearly 100 Michigan State University rootstock selections are being tested in replicated trials in Michigan and Washington State with relevant check cultivars.


One of the more devastating diseases that impact producers of cucumbers is caused by Phytophthora capsici, and breeding efforts are focused on developing lines with resistance in the young fruit (Grumet and Colle, 2016).


Minnesota
Genotype data and phenotype data on soybean protein and oil have been used to perform association mapping for these traits within the soybean germplasm collection (Bandillo et al., 2015). The sheer number of diverse accessions provided a high degree of statistical power. The resolution of the 50K SNP genotyping allowed a survey of the frequency of favorable alleles in different groups of germplasm (mostly grouped by country of origin) to facilitate the search for favorable diversity in the collection.


The same information from the collection was used to develop genomic prediction models for purposes of predicting accession performance in specific locales (Jarquin et al., 2016). Such models could be useful for identifying accessions carrying many favorable alleles for complex traits. Models were validated using independent data sets and show reasonable to good prediction accuracy. These types of models will be useful for breeders striving to add diversity to their breeding populations.


The Univ. of Minnesota soybean breeding program annually includes ~20 exotic parents from the collection parents for crossing with the intent of expanding the genetic basis of their soybean germplasm. A United Soybean Board-funded project, entitled "Utilizing unique genetic diversity to combine elevated protein concentration with high yield in new varieties and experimental lines," helps support this work.


Nebraska
Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), is the best adapted rotational crop in most dryland production areas in the semiarid central High Plains of the USA because of low water requirement and short growing season (Lyon et al. 2008). A gluten-free carbohydrate with low glycemic index, and rich in protein, minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins, it requires little water or other inputs, and has a minimal carbon foot print. Its production in the US is restricted due to a limited birdseed market and extreme price volatility. Genetic improvement, genomic resources and research on this crop are limited. Research focused on (1) developing cultivars for both bird seed and human food, (2) germplasm evaluation, (3) developing genomic resources, and (4) food and non-food uses. The first waxy (amylose-free starch) proso millet cultivar was released with dual use as human food or bird seed, using PI 436626 as the waxy starch source. ‘Plateau’s’ yield and other characteristics are comparable to commonly grown cultivars, (Santra et al., 2015). It can be used to ferment ethanol for industrial or beverages, and the extruded flour has high expansion and antioxidant activity (Rose and Santra, 2013; Paridhi et al., 2015). USDA-ARS germplasm from the NCRPIS, Ames, IA, was evaluated for DNA markers-based genetic diversity (Rajput and Santra, 2016) and evaluated for morpho-agronomic traits. New DNA markers (350) were identified for proso millet and the first genetic linkage map and QTL mapping in proso millet was made (Rajput et al. 2014, 2016).


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.), an annual legume, has been known for millennia for its medicinal properties (Al-Habori and Raman, 2002; Zandi et al., 2015), e.g., treating Type 2 diabetes (Eidi et al., 2007). It is grown under conditions (mostly in India) similar to those found in western Nebraska (Acharya et al., 2008; Petropoulos, 2002). Fenugreek may have new crop potential in western Nebraska for the nutraceutical industry. Breeding and genetic research focused on (1) evaluating 155 fenugreek germplasm (PI lines) for agronomic traits and medicinal compounds - diosgenin, galactomannan, and 4-hydroxyisoleucine, and (2) determination of seed yield potential of selected germplasm. Accessions were identified with higher values of the three medicinal compounds than in ‘Tristar.’ the only publicly available fenugreek cultivar in North America (Acharya et al. 2007). Several high seed-yielding fenugreek lines are adapted to western Nebraska, but few have potential for commercial production under irrigation. Four lines produced seed yields significantly higher than that of ‘Tristar,’ and cultivar improvement efforts continue.


New York
Efforts to assess the genetic diversity of the soybean genus (Glycine), particularly the wild perennial species and to understand the origin of allopolyploids in the genus have been accelerated by technology enabling mining of transcriptomic data (Sherman-Broyles et al., 2014; Coate et al., 2013; Coate et al., 2016). Understanding ‘hotspots’ of diversity can help scientists associate factors guiding evolutionary change and adaptation, as well as conditions required to maintain such germplasm in situ (González-Orozco et al, 2012; Harbert et al., 2014).


Maize genetic resources have been used to map QTL (quantitative trait loci) for northern leaf blight resistance and multiple disease resistance (Balint-Kurti et al., 2010), to develop disease resistant inbred lines (Smith et al., 2015; Palanichamy et al, in preparation; Smith et al., in preparation), and to support investigations to identify the origins of genes contributing disease resistance (Scully et al, 2001).


North Dakota
Enhancement and utilization research of plant genetic resources during 2012-2016 has focused on new crop adaptation, screening evaluations with emphasis on: winter hardiness, seed dormancy, stand establishment, growth and development, maturity, harvest management, and identification of agronomic deficiencies that are problematic for crop commercialization. New crop screening trials have centered on several crop groups with utilization for food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy. Crop types within the groups include pulses, Brassica spp, oilseeds, cereals, fiber, and industrial plants/new crops. The ultimate goal for screening new crops is to identify those with potential for adaptation in the region that would contribute to crop diversity and sustainability for the northern Great Plains (Aponte et al., 2014; Berti et al., 2015). New crops with moderate to high commercialization potential evaluated by ND’s project include oilseeds: winter canola (Brassica napus L.) (Johnson and Petersen, 2011, 2014; Teuber et al., 2014), crambe (Crambe abyssinica Horchst.), field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.), camelina (Camelina sativa L.) (Berti et al., 2011), mustard (Brassica juncea Land Brassica. carinata L.); pulses: faba bean (Vicia faba L.), mung bean (Vigna radiate L.), otebo bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), lupin (Lupin albus L.), and adzuki bean (Vigna angularis Willd. Ohwi and Ohashi (Sahu et al., 2013)); fiber crops (kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) and industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) (Chapara et al., 2015; Hanson et al., 2015; Johnson et al., 2015, 2016), and the cereal white sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.).


Research during the 2017-2021 period will continue efforts to evaluate Brassica carinata L., white sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) to identify genotypes/varieties with good grain yield and quality, and few agronomic deficiencies (i.e., absence of low seed/seedling vigor, seed shatter, excessive tallness or shortness, non-uniformity, small seed size, and immature seed at harvest). Initial genotype/variety screening will advance into secondary research studies to identify best management practices for stand establishment, fertility, pest, and harvest management across North Dakota. Utilization of winter annual oilseeds camelina and field pennycress in corn and soybean relay cropping systems indicates potential for harvesting three grain crops in two growing seasons. In addition to economic gain, several ecosystem benefits (early pollinator food source, soil protection, carbon fixation, and wildlife habitat) are possible with relay cropping systems. The use of cover crops for soil health and protection coupled with more efficient water use is important for enhancing sustainability in semi-arid regions of the northern Great Plains.


Texas
Texas researchers have focused on utilizing germplasm and developing introgression programs for traits from wild relatives. Research on the invasive potential of types of perennial sorghum germplasm will aid in development of germplasm that can be appropriately managed, particularly for biomass and bioenergy use. Development of educational forums at Texas A&M University for undergraduate and graduate students on use of plant germplasm provides training that will support their ability as researchers to effectively explore and utilize novel genetic resources to address production challenges and develop new products and uses.


Wisconsin
A four-year effort to characterize Daucus and allied species molecularly, phenotypically and phenologically has culminated in a phylogenetic assessment and recommended taxonomic revisions (Arbizu et al, 2014, 2016). This integrated effort from USDA-ARS, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, and ISU investigators has integrated use of relatively new crop wild relatives collected from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and the center of origin for Daucus.


Use of genetic information is of key importance in efforts to improve sweet corn by breeding. Endosperm mutants and their effects on quality, germination and cold tolerance are important, as is resistance to pathogens and pests. Because sweet corn has multiple markets, such as fresh or canning, different considerations must be made in selecting traits for these markets.

Objectives

  1. Cooperate and participate as a key element in the NPGS, a coordinated national acquisition and management program of plant germplasm valued for agricultural, horticultural, environmental, medicinal and industrial uses in the NCR and throughout the U.S. and the world.
  2. Collect and maintain plant genetic resources of dedicated crops and their crop wild relatives, evaluate and enhance this germplasm.
  3. Characterize plant germplasm using a combination of molecular and traditional techniques and utilize modern plant genetic techniques to help manage plant germplasm.
  4. Conduct research, and develop an institutional infrastructure needed to attain the preceding objectives efficiently and effectively, including efficient seed and plant health testing, viability monitoring, pollinator efficacy, and advancements in software applications development and computerized management systems to improve functionality and efficiency, to store and transfer knowledge, and to enhance our understanding of the interrelationships of germplasm with changing abiotic and biotic environments.
  5. Within the NCR, throughout the U.S., and internationally, encourage the use of a broad diversity of germplasm to reduce crop genetic vulnerability. Provide viable plant genetic resources, information and expertise that foster cultivar improvement of established crops, the development of new crops, and new uses for existing crops, thus contributing to a sustainable, biobased economy.
  6. Educate students, scientists and the general public regarding plant germplasm issues.

Methods

The NCRPIS specializes in heterogeneous, heterozygous, outcrossing species, requiring extensive facilities for their maintenance and controlled pollination.  Germplasm conservation and management staff at the NCRPIS includes three federal scientists, four support scientists, and three state scientists, an information technology specialist, a systems administrator, and technical team members who effectively collaborate to achieve mission objectives and goals.  Technical and administrative support is provided by an additional seven state (NC-007 supports ISU staff salaries) and ten federal USDA-ARS employees, and by Iowa State University, which provides expertise and infrastructure for farm operations, viability testing, seed processing, greenhouse and facility management, laboratories, information management and analytical support (Appendix Figure 2, organization chart), as well as benefits for ISU staff.  Research and conservation activities are conducted at the NCRPIS headquarters facilities located on land owned by the Iowa State Agricultural Experiment Station, and on the ISU campus.

Five curatorial teams interact with the Program Manager, Research Plant Pathologist, Entomologist, Agronomist, and IT Specialist in multi-disciplinary teams, sharing expertise to address issues that affect multiple curatorial or support teams.  Examples would include viability testing; pollinator insect efficacy and management; detection, quantification and elimination of seed borne pathogens and pests; digital imaging standards and automation; georeferencing; enhancement of the internal and external (public) aspects of the Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN-Global) database; development of software applications to improve quality and efficiency of data capture and genebank workflows; and a wide range of operational and equipment innovations which contribute to the quality of the germplasm accessions and associated information.

Since 2011, more than 2400 new accessions have been acquired, primarily through curator-led explorations, but also by university and USDA-ARS researchers, and from the transfer of Plant Varity Protected (PVP) lines to the active site (NCRPIS) upon expiration of the intellectual property protection, and when responsibility for distribution of Crop Science Registration (CSR) lines is transferred to NC-007 curators. NC-007 personnel collaborate with researchers at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation (NLGRP) at Ft. Collins, CO, the NPGS site for long-term seed storage that backs up the germplasm collections and conducts research related to germplasm viability and preservation of genetic profiles.  Backup samples are generally held at -18 C or under liquid nitrogen (LN, vapor phase).  At the NCRPIS, original samples are stored at -18 C separate from the distribution samples (active collection) which are held at 4 C and 28% relative humidity (RH). Periodic viability testing is done to ensure seed quality, and to indicate when an accession needs to be regenerated, or seed increased.  Many species, especially crop wild relatives, lack standardized viability testing or germination protocols. A certified seed analyst provides support for research effort to develop methods to break dormancy and to optimize conditions that support germination.  An example is application of medical oxygen generators to break dormancy of Setaria italica seeds (Brenner et al., 2015a, 2015b).

Controlled pollination programs are used to maintain the genetic profile of accessions during seed increases, by utilizing either insect pollinators in screened cages (field and greenhouse) or manual pollination methods. Six different pollinator insects are utilized, including honey bees, Mason or Osmia bees, alfalfa leafcutter bees, bumble bees, and two fly species. Choice of pollinator insect is determined in part by a pollinator’s ability to pollinate certain flower types, floral characteristics, pollinator biology and suitability during varying environmental conditions throughout the growing season, and past results on seed production.  Frequently, combinations of pollinators are more efficacious than use of a single species for seed production and ensuring maximum cross-fertilization of flowers within a cage.

Reliable passport and provenance information, coupled with accurate taxonomic identification, are fundamental to the relevance of plant genetic resources (PGR) to specific research applications.  Phenotypic and genotypic characterization and evaluation data greatly increase the value of the collections for research, allowing researchers to discriminate between elements of the collection and devote their resources to those most likely to fulfill their objectives.  Large numbers of germplasm samples are distributed to US and international researchers; demand within the US varies, depending on crop-specific, regionally-based efforts.  NCR researchers request a high proportion of NC-007 germplasm annual domestic distributions, typically about 50%, and about 40% of all NPGS domestic distributions (Appendix Table 3).  Distributions to developing countries contribute to utilization in crop breeding programs, and the secondary benefits brought about through sharing this germplasm with other scientists (Smale et al., 2004).

Table 1: Changes in Patterns of Regional and International NPGS Germplasm Distributions, 2007-2016
 

2007-2011

 

2012-2016

Region

NC7 Items

NPGS Items

% NC7 ITEMS

 

NC7 Items

NPGS Items

% NC7 ITEMS

International

47,626

339,910

14.0

 

77839

420705

37.0

North Central

75,681

276,914

27.3

 

62,314

31,7852

19.6

Northeast

13,293

91,616

14.5

 

10,053

73,931

14.0

Southern

24,125

186,313

12.9

 

26,878

25,2070

10.7

Western

17,129

208,235

8.2

 

21,695

194,303

11.7

Total

177,854

1,102,988

   

198,779

1,258,861

 

Demand has escalated dramatically for quality germplasm of known provenance over the past 15 years from all NPGS sites and is expected to continue, especially from developing nations. Distributions from the NCRPIS have accounted for about 17% of all NPGS distributions for the past seven years, although NCRPIS holdings make up only 9.5% of the NPGS collections, reflecting the overall importance of these holdings to agricultural research (Appendix Table 4).

Curatorial staff members exchange information and technological capacities with other NPGS personnel and a wide array of scientific contacts, including NC-007 participants, related to shared objectives and goals, including germplasm exploration, regeneration, phenotypic evaluation and genomic characterization.  Genomic characterization is generally accomplished by research collaborators, and the information used by curators to better understand and manage their collections. The findings of Romay et al. (2013) following analysis of genotyping of the maize inbred collection have provided clarification regarding the diversity of the inbreds, relationships between lines, seed lots, potential duplication, and in one case, mis-identification of lines provided by an originator.

NCRPIS curators and other scientists participate with researchers in the NCR and beyond to address crop development and improvement goals, invasive-species risk assessment, genetic enhancement and trait discovery, phytosanitary health issues, pollinator-biology questions, and many other objectives.  The activities of the researchers who utilize PGR provide new sources of varieties with improved performance for yield, pest or abiotic stress resistance, contribute to human or animal health and nutrition, aesthetic value, biofuel and industrial applications, and provide value to consumers, producers and end users.  Germplasm requests come from researchers in the private and public sectors concerned with applied and basic research applications, educators, historians, and from members of the public interested in research use.

Acquiring new germplasm samples from domestic and international sources has become increasingly complicated and challenging due to international and national laws, and phytosanitary concerns and restrictions. In contrast, acquiring samples from the NPGS has become easier because of public access databases and communication, and more reliable and rapid long-distance transport. Consequently, the volume of NPGS samples distributed annually has expanded steadily, free of charge or restrictions. NPGS distributions internationally will likely increase as international research programs that use plant genetic resources grow. Additional changes in NPGS holdings may occur in the future as the norms for international exchange of genetic resources evolve in concert with national and international trends in scientific research, and the evolution of access and benefit-sharing regimes (Bretting, 2007).

Recent ratification of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by the US Senate has enabled the US to be a party to the treaty; this may facilitate future germplasm exchange. Development of collections that represent the genetic diversity of crops and their wild relatives is a primary curatorial responsibility, requiring a high level of scholarly research, logistical planning, a willingness to travel and explore diverse environments, and ability to adapt to new challenges.  Acquisition proposals are funded primarily by the USDA’s Plant Exchange Office, and reflect priorities developed in consultation with Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) members, international scientific collaborators, stakeholder priorities, and urgency to collect if access to genetic resources is threatened.  Future access may be threatened due to rare or endangered status, human development or farming activities, climate change, or natural or man-made sources of disaster.

The potential impact of new technologies such as genome editing on the nature and use of germplasm collections is as yet unknown; as methods are developed and  more complete characterization information is provided, it is possible that some accessions will be more or less heavily utilized, and that new genetic resources will be developed and incorporated into genebank collections.

Diverse germplasm collections are a tool to expand taxonomic knowledge. Curators, collaborating with external experts, utilize genetic and genomic technologies as well as morphological traits to resolve concerns.  Currently, a taxonomic research collaboration of the NCRPIS vegetable curator and the USDA-ARS in Madison, WI is designed to resolve the taxonomy of Daucus and allied Apiaceae species. The taxonomy of the Umbelliferae presents unique challenges, and crops of this family are important for food and culinary use.

The NC7 Ornamental Trials are the longest running ornamental evaluation trials in the US, entering their 62nd year in 2016.  Focused on evaluating woody ornamental introductions for their adaptation to the NCR, and for aesthetic and productive qualities, NCR trial cooperators have identified important sources of ornamental germplasm for the horticultural industry (Widrlechner, 2004).  Eight NCR states have CRIS Projects connected with the NC7 Ornamental Trials.  Because of the successes that germplasm introductions have brought to the horticultural industry in the U.S., a new genebank for herbaceous ornamentals, the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center (OPGC) was established at the Ohio State University (Tay et al, 2004). PIS personnel worked closely with those of the OPGC to transfer technology, training, and methodology for germplasm management, and germplasm.

Measurement of Progress and Results

Outputs

  • A primary output of NC-007 participants will be the development of new germplasm, new varieties and cultivars, and new uses. Comments: Necessary to address production challenges, and grower and end user needs. Some examples would include improved yield and quality, water and/or nitrogen use efficiency, pest resistance, agronomic stability/climate change, longer shelf life, nutritional quality, and diversified cropping and other natural resource systems.
  • Progress in understanding crop adaptation, and recommendations that help address management challenges. Comments: Well-designed agronomic studies will help growers select management practices, cultivar selection, and timing of cyclical operations to maximize productivity and profitability.
  • Plant explorations and germplasm exchange will continue to address taxonomic gaps and improve the genetic and geographic diversity of crop collections. Comments: Access to and availability of diverse plant genetic resources supports research objectives and agricultural success. Distributions of plant genetic resources will support US and international researchers.
  • Seed and plant viability and health monitoring to ensure collection quality. Comments: Periodic monitoring of viability provides data for regeneration planning. Germination testing methods and protocols must be developed or adapted as needed.
  • Regenerations will continue to focus on making a diverse array of plant germplasm available, true to their original genetic profile. Comments: The NCRPIS has steadily increased the number of accessions available to researchers, with 76% of the collection available compared to 73% in 2007, despite a net gain of 4,100 accessions (2,372 more than in 2011). Many Crop Germplasm Committees cite availability as a primary limitation to evaluation and characterization efforts (USDA, 1997). Partial availability also inhibits systematic studies to evaluate or characterize materials in a common temporal and spatial environment.
  • GRIN-Global system enhancements. Comments: Software applications will be developed to support the productivity and efficiency of genebank workflows at the NCRPIS and throughout the National Plant Germplasm System, and the public user GRIN-Global interface experience. Collaborations with international adopters provides opportunity to develop solutions that can extend GRIN-Global’s utility and life cycle.

Outcomes or Projected Impacts

  • Improved evaluation and characterization of plant genetic resources. Germplasm evaluation results, use of new DNA markers, new and improved genetic linkage maps, the identification of QTL for important agronomic traits and their flanking markers are useful for future genetic improvement of cultivars. These are necessary to enable conventional and modern breeding approaches to capture valuable traits and genes, for the genetic analysis of important traits, and map-based cloning of genes.
  • Development of new markets for crops provides value to growers and society. A few examples: Improved fenugreek cultivars could support development of a valuable medicinal crop, particularly in production areas less suited for commodity crops. Introduction of a waxy proso millet cultivar with novel end-use characteristics such as waxy starch (amylose-free) may open new opportunities for use of proso millet in the food and beverage industries and for export. Introduction of canola cultivars adapted to the US Southern Plains provides growers with options for cropping systems, important regarding climate variability impacts on agronomic production. Improved disease-resistant rootstocks of fruit trees, and improved tolerance of fruiting cultivars during flowering to temperature extremes helps reduce production and financial risks to growers.
  • Training of undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral candidates in use of plant genetic resources for a wide range of objectives. Today's undergraduate and graduate students will serve as the next generation of US scientific leadership in agricultural and applied sciences. Development of the knowledge and skills to understand and utilize plant genetic resources will continue to support an array of research objectives, including for agronomic, genetic, molecular biology, plant pathology, entomological, horticultural, ecological, biochemical, industrial, anthropological, medical and pharmaceutical, animal nutrition, and bioenergy applications.
  • Improved sustainability and aesthetics of the world we live in, and food security. Understanding and utilization of plant genetic resources is essential to produce more food, feed, fiber, and energy. Availability and quality of land, water and mineral resources, and climate variation will all drive efforts to use plant germplasm in ways to enhance and sustain environmental quality and quality of life.

Milestones

(0):1. NCRPIS genebank personnel and NC-007 participants will cooperate as part of coordinated NPGS, university, and private sector efforts to utilize and capture valuable traits and genes from plant genetic resources.

(0):2. With US implementation of the ITPGRFA, access to international plant genetic resources for US scientists should improve. Valuable native crop wild relatives will continue to be identified, with a strong focus on those that are located in threatened habitats. Plant genetic resources will be maintained, and evaluated via collaborative research. Germplasm availability will increase, assuming resource availability.

(0):3. More germplasm will be molecularly characterized (Daucus, Helianthus, cucurbits, maize, amaranth, and key ornamentals) and this information will be used to help manage the collections. Marker information will facilitate identification of useful genes, alleles, and metabolic processes.

(0):4. GRIN-Global will be enhanced to manage loading of images and documentation to the database, and mobile applications will be developed. The public interface will be improved.

(0):5. The NCRPIS will continue to provide a wide array of genetic resources to investigators. NC-007 participants will develop new crops and new uses, conduct agronomic management research, investigate the nature of biodiversity, and apply new genetic technologies.

(0):6. The NCRPIS employs 40-70 undergraduate students on a part-time basis each year and provides learning experiences and assistance to graduate students and postdoctoral students. The investigators of the NCR will train the next generation of agricultural scientists, providing valuable research experience. Numerous opportunities are available via the various AES and universities’ infrastructure to engage the public regarding germplasm issues, not only successes from their use, but challenges to germplasm access, conservation, and related issues such as pollinator health.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Outreach Plan

Plant genetic resources and associated information are publicly available worldwide on the GRIN-Global website, https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/search.aspx. Information on genetic resources, management procedures, characterizations, evaluations, and distributions will be published by PIRU and NCRPIS scientists and NC-007 participants. Information on the NC-007 project, including members, annual reports, and minutes, will be maintained on the NC-007 website, https://www.ars.usda.gov/midwest-area/ames/plant-introduction-research/. Presentations by NC-007 participants and NCRPIS/PIRU scientists on germplasm-associated research outcomes will be made at regional and national meetings. NC-007 staff will make presentations for local and regional groups such as garden clubs, master gardeners, commodity groups, nursery personnel, 4-H and other agricultural education programs, library programs, and other events to publicize the importance of valuable genetic resources. Tours of the NCRPIS will be given to federal and state legislators, university personnel, domestic and foreign scientists and government officials, germplasm users, producers, teachers and school classes, environmental groups, and other interested parties.


NC-007 committee and Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) members will publicize crop specific germplasm within their institutions and companies, sharing research outcomes and impacts. Regional Technical Advisory Committee (RTAC) members will devise effective, proactive ways to publicize the collections and their importance, and will seek to communicate the critical nature of this work to the general public. The Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project, also part of the Ames PIRU, holds annual field days and tours of the NCRPIS and genetic resource collections are provided. As NC-007 participants discuss their institution’s research and its impacts in their own field day and meeting events, they reach a wide segment of the public.

Organization/Governance

The NC-007 Regional Technician Advisory (RTAC) committee is composed of representatives from each of the twelve AES’ of the NCR, and ex-officio members from USDA-ARS. The RTAC has a chair, secretary and past chair. The secretary is elected to a one-year term and becomes the chair the following year. Each year the project reports results, assesses progress, and receives guidance from the RTAC and Administrative Advisor during the annual NC-007 committee meeting. This meeting is held every third year in Ames at the NCRPIS and rotates among the other locations of the NCR. Sharing of information between scientists at the host locations with the RTAC members is one of the most valuable contributions, and enriches the breadth of knowledge of all participants. The perspectives contributed by the NC-007 RTAC members, with their diverse experiences and research interests, are invaluable to developing an understanding of germplasm’s potential and value throughout the NPGS as well as supporting the development of NCRPIS priorities and capacities.


The Regional Technical Advisory Committee (RTAC) provides valuable direction in the following areas:



  • Requesting and suggesting organizational structure of information needed to determine project impact and provide accountability. This includes advice on useful formats for analyzing and evaluating the nature of distributions, whom they benefit, and how benefits are realized, which are essential for determining the impact and value of the project.

  • Identifying needed improvements to the public GRIN interface.

  • Providing input from their respective AES Directors to curators, genebank and other administrators.

  • Providing guidance to increase the NCRPIS program’s relevance to NCR stakeholders.

  • Providing technical expertise, particularly in the areas of diversity assessment and taxonomy.

  • Providing added breadth in understanding issues at genebanks beyond the NCRPIS.

  • Understanding the challenges faced by public researchers partnering with other public institutions’ researchers, both governmental and non-governmental. This has provided useful insights for ARS and NCR administrators to guide programmatic decision-making, as well as operational guidance; this function is key because of its direct impact on the public interest as well as the specific research interests of more directly involved stakeholders.

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Teuber, O., Aponte, A., Cihacek, L.J., Deckard, E.L., Johnson, B.L., Samarappuli, D., Sedivec, K., and Berti. M.T. (2014) Performance of production of brassicas cover crops in North Dakota. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Annual Meeting, Nov. 2-5 Long Beach, CA. https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2014am/webprogram/Paper87210.html

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Information on the Condition of the National Plant Germplasm System. 1997. GAO report to Congressional Committees. GAO/RCED-98-20.

Wetzel, W.C., Kharouba, H.M., Robinson, M., Holyoak, M., and Karban, R. (2016) Variability in plant nutrients reduces insect herbivore performance. Nature 539(7629):425-427.

Widrlechner, M.P. (2004) Insights into woody plant adaptation and practical applications. NCRPIS Conference Papers, Posters and Presentations. 5. http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ncrpis_conf/5/

Zandi, P., Basu, S.K., Khatibani, L.B., Balogun, M.O., Aremu, M.O., Sharma, M., Kumar, A., Sengupta, R., Li, X., Li, Y., Tashi, S., Hedi, A., and Cetzal-Ix, W. (2015). Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) seed: a review of physiological and biochemical properties and their genetic improvement. Acta Physiol. Plant. 37:1714, p.14. DOI 10.1007/s11738-014-1714-6.

Part II  Other Selected Publications by NC-007 Participants 2012-2016

Illinois

Brown, A.F., Yousef, G.G., Reid, R.W., Chebrolu, K.K., Thomas, A., Krueger, C., Jeffery, E., Jackson, E., and Juvik, J.A. (2015) Genetic analysis of glucosinolate variability in broccoli florets using genome-anchored molecular markers. Theor. & Appl. Genetics 128:1431-1447 doi:10.1007

Dosz, E.B., Ku, K.M., Juvik, J.A., and Jeffery, E.H., (2014) Total Myrosinase Activity Estimates in Brassica Vegetable Produce. J. Agric. Food Chem. doi: 10.1021/jf501692c.

Głowacka, K., Clark, L.V., Adhikari, S., Peng, J., Stewart, J.R., Nishiwaki, A., Yamada, T., Jørgensen, U., Hodkinson, T.R., Gifford, J., Juvik, J.A., and Sacks, E.J. (2014) Genetic variation in Miscanthus ×giganteus and the importance of estimating genetic distance thresholds for differentiating clones. GCB Bioenergy doi:10.1111/gcbb.12166.

Kaiser, C.M., Clark, L.V., Juvik, J.A., Voigt, T.B., and Sacks, E.J. (2015) Characterizing a Miscanthus Germplasm Collection for Yield, Yield Components, and Genotype × Environment Interactions. Crop Science 55:1978-1994. doi:10.2135

Liu, S., Clark, L.V., Swaminathan, K., Gifford, J.M., Juvik, J.A., and Sacks, E.J. (2015) High density genetic map of Miscanthus sinensis reveals inheritance of zebra stripe. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12275

Lu, L., Ku, K.M., Palma-Salgado, S., Storm, A., Feng, H., Juvik, J.A., Nguyen, T.H. (2015) Influence of epicuticular physiochemical properties on porcine rotavirus attachment for 24 salad vegetables. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371

Renaud, E., Lammerts van Bueren, E., Myers, J., Joao Paulo, M., van Eeuwik, F., Zhu, N., and Juvik, J.A., (2014) Variation in broccoli cultivar phytochemical content under organic and conventional management systems: Implications in breeding for nutrition. PLoS ONE 9(7): e95683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095683

Renaud, E., Lammerts van Bueren, E., João Paulo, M., van Eeuwijk, F., Juvik, J.A., Hutton, M., and Myers, J.R. (2014) Broccoli cultivar performance under organic and conventional management systems and implications for crop improvement. Crop Sci. 54:1–16 doi: 10.2135/cropsci2013.09.0596

Iowa
Adeyanju, A., Little, C., Yu, J. and Tesso, T. (2015) Genome-wide association study on resistance to stalk rot diseases in grain sorghum. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 5:1165-1175.

Beavis, W.D. (2015) Optimal Use of Genomic Prediction in Plant Breeding. Soybean Breeders and Physiologists Workshop. St Louis. 16 February. St. Louis, MO.

Bongsong, K., and Beavis, W.D. (2015) Trait-associated markers increase the prediction accuracy in ridge regression best linear unbiased prediction. Soybean Breeders' Workshop, St. Louis, MO.

Chen, Y., Pan, G., and Lübberstedt, T. (2015) Haploid strategies for functional validation of plant genes. Trends in Biotechnology 33:611-620.

Li, X., Scanlon, M.J. and Yu, J. (2015) Evolutionary patterns of DNA base composition and correlation to polymorphisms in DNA repair systems. Nucleic Acids Research 43:3614-3625

Li, Xin, Li, X., Fridman, E., Tesso, T.T., and Yu, J. (2015) Dissecting repulsion linkage in the drawfing gene Dw3 region for sorghum plant height provides insights into heterosis. PNAS 112:11823-11828.

Lipka, A.E., Kandianis, C.B., Hudson, M.E., Yu, J., Drnevich, J., Bradbury, P.J., and Gore, M.A. (2015) From association to prediction: statistical methods for the dissection and selection of complex traits in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 24:110-118.

Thompson, A.M., Yu, J., Timmermans, M.C.P., Schnable, P., Crants, J.C., Scanlon, M.J., and Muehlbauer, G.J. (2015) Diversity of maize shoot apical meristem architecture and its relationship to plant morphology. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 5:819- 827.

Wu, Y., Frei, U.K., Liu, H., De La Fuente, G., Huang, K., Wei, Y., and Lübberstedt, T. (2015) Combining genomic selection and doubled haploid technology increases efficiency of maize breeding. In: Recent Developments in Biotechnology Vol. 2: Plant Biotechnology, Studium Press, J.N. Govil (ed.) 215-237.

Xu, Z.,Yu, J., Kohel, R.J., Percy, R.G., Beavis, W.D., Main, D., John, Z.Y. (2015) Distribution and evolution of cotton fiber development genes in the fiberless Gossypium raimondii genome. Genomics 106:61-69.

Kansas
Tian, H., Wei, L., Kucerac, V., Stamm, M.J., and Hu, S. (2016) Phenotypic diversity of rapeseed accessions from different geographic locations. Oil Crop Sci. 1:9-20.

Michigan
Aguiar, B., Vieira, J., Cunha, A.E., Fonseca, N.A., Iezzoni, A., van Nocker, S., Vieira, C.P. (2015) Convergent evolution at the gametophytic self-incompatibility system in Malus and Prunus. PLoS ONE 10(5):e0126138

Bassil, N., Davis, T., Zhang, H., Ficklin, S., Mittmann, M., Webster, T., Mahoney, L., Wood, D., Alperin, E., Rosyara, U., Putten, H., Monfort, A., Sargent, D., Amaya, I., Denoyes, B., Bianco, L., van Dijk, T., Pirani, A., Iezzoni, A., Main, D., Peace, C., Yang, Y., Whitaker, V., Verma, S., Bellon, L., Brew, F., Herrera, R., van de Weg, E. (2015) Development and preliminary evaluation of a 90 K Axiom® SNP array for the allo-octoploid cultivated strawberry Fragaria × ananassa. BMC Genomics 16:155 doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1310-1

Chavoshi, M., Watkins, C., Oraguzie, B., Zhao, Y., Iezzoni, A., Oraguzie N. (2014) Phenotyping protocol for sweetcherry (Prunus avium L.) to facilitate an understanding of trait inheritance. J. Amer. Pom. Soc. 68(3):125–134.

Mathey, M.M., Mookerjee, S., Mahoney, L., Finn, C.E., Hancock, J.F., Serce, S., Davis, T., Stewart, P., Whitaker, V.M., Jamieson, A.R., Bassil, N.V., Amaya, I., Denoyes, B., Hummer, K.E., Sargent, D., van de Weg, E., Iezzoni, A. (2014) Using General and Specific Combining Ability to Further Advance Strawberry (Fragaria sp.) Breeding. Acta Hort. 1049:193-200.

Peace, C.P., Luby, J.J., van de Weg, W.E., Bink, M.C.A.M., Iezzoni, A.F. (2014) A strategy for developing representativegermplasm sets for systematic QTL validation, demonstrated for apple, peach, and sweet cherry. Tree Genet. Genome DOI 10.1007/s11295-014-0788-z

Rosyara, U., Bink, C.A.M., van de Weg, E., Zhang, G., Wang, D., Sebolt, A., Dirlewanger, E., Quero-Garcia, J., Schuster, M., Iezzoni A. (2013) Fruit size QTL identification and the prediction of parental QTL genotypes and breeding values in multiple pedigreed populations of sweet cherry. Molecular Breeding 32:875-887.

Rosyara, U., Sebolt, A., Peace, C., and Iezzoni, A. (2014) Identification of the Paternal Parent of ‘Bing’ Sweet Cherry and Confirmation of Descendants Using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Markers. J. of Amer. Soc. of Hort. Sci. 139(2): 148-156.

Stegmeir, T., Cai, L., Basundari, R.A., Sebolt, A.M., and Iezzoni, A.F. (2015) A DNA test for fruit flesh color in tetraploid sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). Mol Breeding 35:149.

Stegmeir, T., Schuster, M., Sebolt, A., Rosyara, U., Sundin, G.S., and Iezzoni, A. (2014) Cherry leaf spot resistance in cherry (Prunus) is associated with a quantitative trait locus on linkage group 4 inherited from P. canescens. Mol Breeding 34(3): 927-935.

Stegmeir, T., Sebolt, A., and Iezzoni, A. (2013) Phenotyping protocol for sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) to enable a better understanding of trait inheritance. J. of Amer. Pomol. Soc. 68(1): 40-47.

Yue, C., Gallardo, R.K., Luby, J., Rihn, A., McFerson, J., McCracken, V., Gradziel, T., Gasic, K., Reighard, G., Clark, J., Weebadde, C., Sebolt, A., Iezzoni, A. (2014) An Investigation of United States Peach Fruit Producers Trait Prioritization-Evidence from Audience Clicker Surveys. HortScience 49(10):1309-1314.

Nebraska
Hergert, G., and Santra, D.K. (2015) Fertilizing proso millet. NebGuide G11945.

Pavlista, A.D., and Santra, D.K. (201x). Interaction of planting and harvest dates, and irrigation on fenugreek in the semi-arid High Plains of the USA. Industrial Crops and Products (In Press)

Santra, D.K. and Schoenlechner, R. (2016) Sustainability, processing, and application of amaranth. In: Nadathur S., Wanasundara J. and L. Scanlin (ed), Sustainable Protein Sources, 1st Edition. Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA, pp 257-264. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Santra, D.K. (2016) Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) Breeding, Genetics, Genomics and Uses. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA 2016 Meeting, November 9-9. Phoenix, AZ. Oral presentation (227-1), Abstract ID: 102587.

Santra, D.K., Rajput, S., Florke, V., and Hazen, A. (2016) Proso Millet: Breeding, Genetics and Genomics. The High Plains Ag. Lab Annual Meeting 2016, February 18, Sidney, NE. p.36-49. Nebraska Extension Publication No. PHREC 16-30.

Santra, D.K., Pavlista, A., Kale, S., Rose, D., and Schlegel, V. L. (2014) Evaluation of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) for agronomic traits and medicinal compounds. In Miller, T.E., E. Alexopoulou, and M.T. Betri (Ed.), International Conference in Industrial Crops and 26th Annual Meeting of Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC). Program and Abstracts. September 13-19, 2014, Athens, Greece (pp. 54). Athens, Greece: The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops

Santra, D.K. and Rose, D. (2013) Alternative uses of proso millet. NebGuide G2218.

Santra, D.K. (2013) Proso millet varieties for western Nebraska western Nebraska. NebGuide. G2219.

Stamm, M., Cramer, G., Dooley, S., Holman, J., Phillips, D., Rife, C., and Santra, D.K. (2015) Registration of ‘Griffin’ Winter Canola. J. Plant Registrations 9: 144-148.

New York (Cornell – Doyle)
Bombarely, A., Coate, J.E., and Doyle, J.J. (2014) Mining transcriptomic data to study the origins and evolution of a plant allopolyploid complex. PeerJ 2:e391; doi: 10.7717/peerj.391

Doyle, J.J., and Sherman-Broyles, S. (2016) Double trouble: Taxonomy and definitions of polyploidy. New Phytologist (in press). doi:10.3732/ajb.1600260.

Gunner, S., and Doyle, J.J. (2014) Neotypification of Glycine tomentella (Fabaceae) with comments on its internal groups. Phytotaxa 178:189-196 http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.178.3.4.

Powell, A.F., and Doyle, J.J. (2016) Enhanced rhizobial symbiotic capacity in an allopolyploid species of Glycine (Leguminosae). American Journal of Botany 103:1771-1782.

Sherman-Broyles, S., Bombarely, A., Grimwood, J., Schmutz, J., Jackson, S.A., and Doyle, J.J. (2014) Complete plastome sequences from Glycine syndetika, and six additional perennial wild relatives of soybean. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics doi: 10.1534/g3.114.012690.

New York (Cornell – Smith)
Gardner, J., Hoffmann, M.P., and Smith, M.E. (2000) Resistance to European corn borer in processing sweet corn. HortScience 35:871-874.

Palanichamy, D., Smith, M., Yang, J., and Ericson, L. (2014) Inheritance of gray leaf spot resistance in a multiple disease resistant maize inbred. Poster No. 532. ASA/CSSA/SSSA International Annual Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach CA. https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2014am/webprogram/Paper88493.html.

Smith, M.E. (2016a.) GMOs: Food supply savior or the devil in disguise? Proceedings 2016 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar. March 8-11, 2016. Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Smith, M.E. (2016b) What are GMO crops and how do we talk about them? pp. 21-38. Proceedings Corn Congress at Miner Institute. 4 February 2016. Chazy NY.

Smith, M. (2015) What’s your 30 second elevator speech on GMOs? pp. 17-20. In: Proceedings Corn Congress 2015. Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team, Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Smith, M.E. (2014a) Genetically engineered organisms (AKA GMOs): Issues and the science. pp. 48-57. Proceedings 2014 Cornell Nutrition Conference for Feed Manufacturers. 76th Meeting. October 22, 2014. Cornell University Department of Animal Science of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ithaca NY.

Smith, M.E. (2014b) The ABCs of GEOs. Dairybusiness East 6(2):28-29.

Smith, M.E. (2014c) Who put those genes in my food? Facts and myths about genetically engineered crops. pp. 15-17. Proceedings Field Crop Dealer Meetings, November 12, 2014. Soil and Crop Sciences Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Extension Series No. E14-1.

Smith, M.E., Ericson, L., Norman, S.A., and O’Leary, N. (2015) Registration of NY195, NY212, NY215, and NY266 anthracnose stalk rot resistant inbred lines of maize. Journal of Plant Registrations 9:393-397.

North Dakota
Ayala-Diaz, I.M., Isbell, T., Marek, L., Westgate, M., Johnson, B., Parkin, I., and Gardner, C. (2012) Genetic and phenotypic diversity in camelina germplasm. In McMahan, C.M. and M.T. Berti, (eds.), 24th Annual AAIC Meeting-2012 Developing Sustainable Solutions: Program and Abstracts, 12-15 Nov. 2012, Sonoma, CA. Available at: http://www.aaic.org/12program.htm

Berti, M.T., and Johnson, B.L. (2013) Switchgrass establishment as affected by seeding depth and soil type. Ind. Crops Prod. 41:289-293.

Escobar, M., Berti, M.T., Matus, I., Tapia, M., and Johnson, B.L. (2011) Genotype ×environment interaction in canola (Brassica napus L.) seed yield in Chile. Chilean J. Agric. Res. 71(2):175-186.

Gilbertson, P.K., Berti, M.T., and Johnson, B.L. (2014) Borage cardinal germination temperatures and seed development. Ind. Crops Prod. 46: 202-209. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2014.04.046

Johnson, B.L., and Petersen, P.J. (2012) Dormant and spring seeded canola comparisons. In McMahan, C.M. and M.T. Berti, (eds.), 24th Annual AAIC Meeting-2012 Developing Sustainable Solutions: Program and Abstracts 12-15 Nov. 2012, Sonoma, CA. Available at: http://www.aaic.org/12program.htm

Johnson, B.L., Berti, M.T., Dash, S., Gilbertson, P.K., Sahu, K., and Petersen, P.J. (2015) Screening new crops for adaptation promotes agricultural sustainability. 2015. In Proc. 2nd Intl. Conf. on Sustainable Agriculture and Environment. Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey.

Samarappuli, D., Johnson, B.L., Kandel, H., and Berti, M.T. (2014) Biomass yield and nitrogen content of annual energy/forage crops preceded by cover crops. Field Crops Res. 167:31-39.

Teuber, O., Berti, M.T. Deckard, E.L., Johnson, B.L., Cihacek, L.J., Sedivec, K., and Nudell, R. (2013) Seeding date for different forage brassicas in North Dakota. https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2013am/webprogram/Paper80020.html.

Witt, T.W., Rowland, D.L., Kilcer, T.F., Trostle, C.L., Todd, J., Grohs, R., Van Acker, R., B.L., Johnson, B.L., Severino, L., Baldwin, B., and Auld, D.L. (2015) Castor is adapted to commercial production in temperate regions in North America. In Proc 27th Annual Meeting of AAIC. Oct. 18-22, 2015 Overton Hotel and Conference Center Lubbock, TX.

Witt, T., Auld, D.L., Rowland, D.L., Kilcer, T.F., Trostle, C.L., Todd, J., Johnson, B.L., Grohs, R., and Van Acker, R. (2014) Castor (Ricinus communis L.): Valuable crop or toxic weed in North America. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Annual Meeting, Nov. 2-5 Long Beach, CA. https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2014am/webprogram/Paper88869.html.

Witt, T.W., Rowland, D., Kilcer, T., Trostle, C., Todd, J., Johnson, B., and Auld, D.L. (2013) Performance of five castor (Ricinus communis L.) cultivars in geographically diverse environments in North America. In Proc. 25 Annual Meeting of AAIC. Oct. 15 – 16, 2013. Renaissance Hotel Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Part III: Other NCRPIS Publications 2011-2016

Barney, D.L., Bauer, M., and Jensen, J. (2013) Survival, frost susceptibility, growth, and disease resistance of corkbark and subalpine fir grown for landscape and Christmas trees. HortTechnology. 23:194-200.

Berhow, M.A., Polat, U., Glinski, J.A., Glensk, M., Vaughn, S.F., Isbell, T., Ayala-Diaz, I., Marek, L., and Gardner, C. (2013) Optimized analysis and quantification of glucosinolates from Camelina sativa seeds by reverse-phase liquid chromatography. Industrial Crops and Products 43:119-125.

Brenner, D.M., Dekker, J., Niemi, J., and Pfiffner, L. (2015a.) Medical oxygen concentrators for releasing seed dormancy. Crop Science. 55:2291–2293. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2014.11.0783

Chen, Y., Blanco, M.H., Ji, Q., Frei, U., and Lubberstedt, T. (2014) Extensive genetic diversity and low linkage disequilibrium within the COMT locus in maize exotic populations. Plant Science. 221- 222:69-80.

Dutta, B., Block, C.C., Stevenson, K.L., Sanders, F., Walcott, R.R., and Gitaitis, R.D. (2013) Distribution of phytopathogenic bacteria in infested seeds. Seed Science and Technology. 41:383- 397.

Gilmore, B.S., Bassil, N.V., Barney, D.L., Knaus, B.J., and Hummer, K.E. (2014) Short-read DNA sequencing yields microsatellite markers for Rheum. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 139:22-29.

Henry, W.B., Windham, G.L., Rowe, D.E., Blanco, M.H., Murray, S.C., and Williams, W.P. (2013) Diallel analysis of diverse maize germplasm lines for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Crop Science. 53:394-402.

Isbell, T.A., Cermak, S.C., Dierig, D.A., Eller, F.J., and Marek, L. (2015) Registration of Katelyn Thlaspi arvense L. (Pennycress) with improved nondormant traits. Journal of Plant Registrations. 9:212-215.

Kane, N., Burke, J., Marek, L., Seiler, G., Vear, F., Knapp, S., Vincourt, P., and Rieseberg, L. (2013) Sunflower genetic, genomic, and ecological resources. Molecular Ecology Resources 13(1): 10-20.

Kantar, M.B., Sosa, C.C., Khoury, C.K., Castaneda-Alvarez, N.P., Achicanoy, H.A., Bernau, V., Kane, N.C., Marek, L., Sieler, G., and Rieseberg, L.H. (2015) Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Frontiers in Plant Science: 6: 00841

Kurtz, B., Gardner, C.A., Millard, M.J., Bretting, P.K., Nickson, T., and Smith, J.C. (2015) Global access to maize germplasm provided by the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and by U.S. plant breeders. Crop Science. 56(3):931-941.

Mandel, J.R., Nambeesan, S., Bowers, J., Marek, L., Ebert, D., Rieseberg, L., Knapp, S., and Burke, J. (2013) Association Mapping and the Genomic Consequences of Selection in Sunflower. PLoS Genet 9(3): e1003378. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003378. [MARCH]

Markell, S., Harveson, R., Block, C.C., and Gulya, T. (2015) Sunflower diseases. In: Martínez-Force, E., Dunford, N. T., Salas, J. J., editors. Sunflower: Chemistry, Production, Processing and Utilization. Urbana, IL:American Oil Chemists' Society Press. p. 93-128.

Markell, S., Harveson, R., Block, C.C., and Gulya Jr., T.J. (2016) Compendium of sunflower disease and insect pests. Minneapolis, Minnesota: American Phytopathological Society Press. p. 140.

Martinez-Flores, F., Arbizu, C., Reitsma, K., Juan, A., Simon, P., Spooner, D., and Crespo, M. (2016) Lectotype Designation for Seven Species Names in the Daucus guttatus Complex (Apiaceae) from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Systematic Botany 41(2):pp. 464-478.

Mickelbart, M., Carstens, J.D., Daniel, K., and Gosney, M. (2013) Evaluation of Native U.S. Trees at Purdue. Indiana Nursery and Landscape News. 73(1):22-25.

Nambeesan, S.U., Mandel, J.R., Bowers, J.E., Marek, L.F., Ebert, D.E., Corbi, J., Rieseberg, L.H., Knapp, S.J., and Burke, J.M. (2015) Association mapping in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) reveals independent control of apical vs. basal branching. BMC Plant Biology 15:84. doi: 10.1186/s12870-015-0458-9.

Ni, X., Xu, W., Blanco, M.H., and Williams, W.P. (2014) Evaluation of fall armyworm resistance in maize germplasm lines using visual leaf injury rating and predator survey. Insect Science. 21(5):541-555.

Peiffer, J.A., Romay, M.C., Gore, M.A., Flint Garcia, S.A., Zhang, Z., Millard, M.J., Gardner, C.A., McMullen, M.D., Holland, J.B., Bradbury, P., and Buckler IV, E.S. (2014) The genetic architecture of maize height. Genetics. 196:1337-1356.

Prasfika, J.R., Marek, L.F., Lee, D.K., Hahn, V., and Bradshaw, J.D. (2016) Effects from early planting of late-maturing sunflowers on damage from primary insect pests in the United States. Helia 39(63): 45-56.

Reitsma, K.R., C.C. Block, and Clark, L.D. (2014) Cucurbit Germplasm Collections at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station. CUCURBITACEAE, 125.

Seiler, G.J., Qi, L.L., and Marek, L.F. (2016 accepted) Utilization of sunflower crop wild relatives for cultivated sunflower improvement. Crop Sci, Crop Wild Relatives Special Issue.

Smelser, A., Blanco, M., Lübberstedt, T., Schechert, A., Vanous, A., and Gardner, C.A. (2015) Weighing in on a method to discriminate maize haploid from hybrid seed. Plant Breeding. 134:283-285. DOI: 10.1111/pbr.12260.

Spooner, D.M., Widrlechner, M.P., Reitsma, K.R., Palmquist, D.E., Rouz, S., Ghrabi-Gammar, Z., Neffati, M., Bouzbida, B., Ouabbou, H., El Koudrim, M., and Simon, P.W. (2014) Reassessment of Practical Subspecies Identifications of the USDA Daucus carota L. Germplasm Collection: Morphological Data. Crop Science, 54(2): 706-718.

Talukder, Z.L., Hulke, B.S., Marek, L.F., and Gulya, T.J. (2014) Sources of resistance to sunflower diseases in a global collection of domesticated USDA plant introductions. Crop Sci 54: 694-705.

Warburton, M.L., Rauf, S., Marek, L., Hussain, M., Ogunola, O., and Sanchez Gonzales, J.J. (2016 submitted) What limits the use of crop wild relatives for crop improvement: Contrasting case studies (Zea mays and Helianthus annuus L.) provide clues to identify and overcome limiting factors. Crop Sci, Crop Wild Relatives Special Issue.

Yangcheng, H., Jiang, H., Blanco, M.H., and Jane, J. (2013) Characterization of normal and waxy corn starch for bioethanol production. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 61:379-386.

Ziebell, A.L., Barb, J.G., Sandhu, S., Moyers, B.T., Sykes, R.W., Doeppke, C., Gracom, K.L., Carlile, M., Marek, L.F., Davis, M.F., Knapp, S.J., and Burke, J.M. (2013) Sunflower as a biofuels crop: an analysis of lignocellulosic chemical properties. Biomass and Bioenergy 59: 208-217

Zila, C., Ogut, F., Romay, M.C., Gardner, C.A., Buckler IV, E.S., Holland, J.B. (2014) Genome-wide association study of Fusarium ear rot disease in the U.S.A. maize inbred line collection. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 14:372.

NC7 Talks/Proceedings

Blanco, M.H., and Gardner, C.A. (2014) Germplasm Enhancement of Maize - Strategies & Synergy with Maize Curation. In: Proceedings of the Illinois Corn Breeders School, March 3, 2014, Urbana, Illinois. p. 1-23.

Mandel, J.R., Hubner, S., Nambeesan, S.U., Bowers, J.E., Marek, L., Rieseberg, L.H., and Burke, J.M. (2016) The public sunflower association mapping population In: Proc. 19th Intl Sunflower Conference, Edirne, Turkey, Intl Sunfl Assn, Paris, France p. 489.

Marek, L.F. (2016) Sunflower genetic resources 2016 In: Proc. 19th Intl Sunflower Conference, Edirne, Turkey, Intl Sunfl Assn, Paris, France p. 31-44.

Reitsma, K.R. 2013. North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, USDA-ARS, National Plant Germplasm Daucus Collection. Presentation for Crop Wild Relatives - Daucus meeting, August 17, 2013, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

Reitsma, K.R., C.C. Block, and L.D. Clark. Cucurbit Germplasm Collections at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station. CUCURBITACEAE 2014, 125.

Reitsma, K.R. and Clark, L.C. (2013) Daucus Germplasm Collection at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station. In: Proceedings of the 36th International Carrot Conference, August 14-16, 2013, Madison, WI. (Poster)

Abstracts

Ayala-Diaz, I.M., Isbell, T., Marek, L., Westgate, M., Johnson, B., Parkin, I., and Gardner, C.A. (2012) Genetic and phenotypic diversity in camelina germplasm [abstract]. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p. 9.

Ayala-Diaz, I., Isbell, T., Marek, L., Westgate, M., Johnston, B., Parkin, I., and Gardner, C. (2012) Genetic and phenotypic diversity in camelina germplasm. Assn Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference

Barb, J., Marek, L., and Welke, G. (2016) Maximizing self-autonomous pollination in sunflower. National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 12-13, 2016, Fargo, ND. Available: https://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1271/maximizing.pollination_barb.et.al_poster-2016.pdf

Block, C.C., and Shepherd, L.M. (2013) Relationship between resistance to Stewart's wilt and Goss's wilt in dent corn inbreds. American Phytopathological Society Abstracts. 103:S2.17.

Brenner, D.M., Dekker, J., Niemi, J., and Pfiffner, L. (2015b.) Releasing seed dormancy with oxygen Concentrated by medical equipment. Poster number 911. American Society of Agronomy annual meeting, November 15–18. Minneapolis, MN https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Paper91808.html

Chen, Y., Blanco, M.H., Ji, Q., Frei, U., and Lubberstedt, T. (2013) Extensive genetic diversity and low linkage equilibrium within the COMT locus in Germplasm Enhancement of Maize populations. Plant and Animal Genome Conference. p. P0167.

Gardner, C.A., and Millard, M.J. (2015) Maize Genetic Resources Collections – Utilizing a Treasure Trove [abstract]. Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Meeting. Abstract no. 244-4.

Greene, S.L., Blalock, J., Gardner, C.A., Hellier, B.C., Mcgrath, J.M., Nelson, R.L., Percy, R.G., Scorza, R., Scott, R.A., Yeater, K.M., and Bretting, P.K. (2015) Procedures and best management practices for genetically engineered traits in USDA/ARS germplasm and breeding lines. Meeting Abstract. Crop Science Society of America, Minneapolis, MN. Nov. 15-18, 2015.

Humann, R., Gulya, T., Marek, L., Jordahl, J., Meyer, S., Acevedo, M., and Markell, S. (2016) Evaluation of Helianthus germplasm for resistance to Plasmopahra halstedii (downy mildew) and Puccinia helianthi (rust). 38th National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 12-13, 2016, Fargo, ND. Available: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1280/evaluation.helianthus_humann_paper-2016.pdf

Humann, R., Gulya, T., Marek, L., Jordahl, J., Meyer, S., and Markell, S. (2015) Evaluation of wild Helianthus germplasm for resistance to Plasmopara halstedii (downy mildew) and Puccinia helianthi (rust). 37th National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 7-8, 2015, Fargo, ND. Available: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1243/humann_et.al_eval.wild.helianthus.poster_2015.pdf

Humann, R., Gulya, T., Marek, L., Meyer, S., Jordahl, J., and Markell, S. (2014) Evaluation of wild Helianthus germplasm for resistance to a Plasmopara halstedii (downy mildew) isolate virulent on P16 and P17. 36th National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 8-9. 2014, Fargo, ND. Available: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1236/humann.et.al_eval.helianthus_poster_2014poster_2014.pdf

Liu, Z., Zhang, J., Cai, X., Seiler, G.J., Gulya Jr, T.J., Rashid, K.Y., Block, C.C., and Jan, C. (2014) Advancement on transferring Sclerotinia resistance genes from wild perennial Helianthus species into cultivated sunflower. [abstract] National Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting Program, January 23-25, 2014, Bloomington, MN. P. 11.

Long, Y., Gulya Jr, T.J., Block, C.C., Hulke, B.S., and Qi, L. (2014) Deployment of novel sources of Sclerotinia resistance in sunflower-2013 progress. [abstract] National Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting Program, January 23-25, 2014, Bloomington, MN. P.15.

Marek, L.F., Barb, J.B., Constable, J.C., and Seiler, G.J. (2014) An exciting new wild sunflower species: Helianthus winteri. 36th National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 8-9. 2014, Fargo, ND. Available: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1237/marek.et.al_exciting.species_paper_2014.pdf

Olson, T., Kontz, B., Matthew, F., and Marek, L. (2016) A diagnostic assay to detect the Phomopsis stem canker pathogen. National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 12-13, 2016, Fargo, ND. Available: https://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1283/assay.phomopsis_olson.etal_paper-2016.pdf

Seiler, G., and Marek, L. (2016) Collection of wild Helianthus anomalus and deserticola sunflower from the desert southwest USA In: Proc. 19th Intl Sunflower Conference, Edirne, Turkey, Intl Sunfl Assn, Paris, France p. 253-262.

Seiler, G.J., and Marek, L.F. (2016) Collection of Helianthus anomalus (Sand Sunflower) from the Southwestern United States 38th National Sunflower Association Research Forum, January 12-13, 2016, Fargo, ND. Available: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/uploads/research/1270/collection.helianthus_seiler.marek_poster-2016.pdf

Reitsma, K., Block, C.C., and Clark, L. (2014) Cucurbit germplasm collections at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station [abstract]. Cucurbitaceae Proceedings, October 12–16, 2014, Bay Harbor, Michigan. p. 125-128.

Reitsma, K.R. (2013) North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, USDA-ARS, National Plant Germplasm Daucus Collection. Presentation for Crop Wild Relatives - Daucus meeting, August 17, 2013, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

Attachments

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