Leafy Vegetables CGC Meeting - MINUTES

Thursday, July 27, 2006, Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans, LA

Attendees – Candy Gardner, Ryan Hayes, Barbara Hellier, Maria Jenderek, Ted Kisha, Larry Knerr, Ray Mock, Beiquan Mou (Chair), Russell Nagata, Kathy Reitsma, Larry Robertson, and Ivan Simko.

Following self-introductions, the minutes of the 2005 meeting were approved.

Crop Reports:
Celery – Larry Robertson provided a status report on the Apium germplasm collection at Geneva, New York. There are 206 accessions at Geneva (109 PIs and 97 Geneva numbered lines), and 68 accessions at Ft. Collins, Colorado that are not backed up at Geneva. Seed production was conducted for 21 accessions in 2005, and 53 accessions were planted in 2006 for seed production in 2007. Once the Geneva collection has been regenerated, the Ft. Collins accessions will be transferred to the collection at Geneva.  There was an increase in distribution of samples with 51 samples mailed in 2005 and 21 samples distributed in 2006 through July 1 (compared with 8 in 2003 and 2004, respectively). Seeds of 5 accessions of Apium wild species were received from Carlos Quiros at University of California-Davis.

Chicory & Endive – Kathy Reitsma reported that 27 new accessions were received in 2006 from Ft. Collins to bring the Cichorium collection at Ames, Iowa to 277 accessions (112 C. endivia and 165 C. intybus).  Now 78% of the collection is available and 82% is backed up at Ft. Collins.  There are currently 22 accessions being regenerated.  315 samples were distributed thus far in 2006 as domestic requests.  All accessions were directly seeded in a field in March, and digital images, leaf, flower, and seed characters are being collected for GRIN. 

Spinach – Kathy Reitsma (for David Brenner) reported on the collection status of 401 accessions held at Ames, which are 94% available and 93% backed up at Ft. Collins.  No regeneration was conducted during the past year.  400 samples were distributed from Ames in 2005, and 377 packets were mailed this year through July 1.  David also had some early success in breaking seed dormancy of a wild Spinacia tetrandra accession, by letting planted seeds go through a warm summer in a polyhouse.

Lettuce – Barbara Hellier reported that seed increases of 15 accessions were performed at Pullman, WA in 2006. The collection was increased by 12 cultivars that were released from the PVP program.  Now the total number of Lactuca accessions stands at 1,929 (1,352 PIs and 577 with W6 numbers), with 64% (83% of L. sativa) available for distribution and 63% (98% of L. sativa) backed-up at Ft. Collins.  410samples were distributed in the past year.  Barbara participated in an ICARDA sponsored collecting trip to Tajikistan and was able to collect two accessions of wild Lactuca.  The full-time technician position for ELISA testing was terminated due to budget shortfalls, but some temporary funding was secured to continue the LMV tests for virus-free seed distribution.

Other Reports:
National Program Staff and National Germplasm Resources Lab/Plant Exchange Office Reports were given by Ray Mock. Major points included personnel and budget changes, OSQR peer review for NP301 CRIS projects, updates to GRIN software, and the effects of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on international germplasm exchange.  NPGS has established two committees to improve the GRIN system, including one chaired by Ed Buckler on how to handle molecular data being generated on NPGS accessions and one chaired by Ed Stover on improving the GRIN public web interface and software.  Effective October 1, 2005, the responsibilities for the quarantine indexing of germplasm were transferred from the USDA-ARS Plant Germplasm Quarantine Office to the USDA APHIS-Plant Health Program.
CGC Chairs Meeting Report:  Beiquan Mou reported on the 10th biennial meeting of the CGC Chairs held in Ames, IA, June 6-7, 2006.  It provided an opportunity for Chairs to understand the rationale, responsibilities, and organization of CGC, and to hear presentations on the status of NPGS sites, plant germplasm exchange, international issues, preservation and utilization, the molecular characterization of accessions, and plant quarantine issues.  It also allowed the Chairs to meet and interact with each other, NPGS managers and curators, and invited guests from ARS, other federal agencies, and non-government organizations.
Germplasm Evaluation Funding Reports:
Ryan Hayes reported on the proposals funded in FY2004, FY2005, and FY 2006. All of these projects involved screening of lettuce germplasm for resistance to wilt cause by Verticillium dahliae.  K. Subbarao, G. Vallad, and R. Grube provided a written report of progress to date.  They have identified two races of V. dahliae through field and greenhouse testing as well as pathogen diversity studies.  Of the 136 Lactuca accessions and cultivars screened so far, 12 were found resistant to race 1 and none was resistant to race 2.

Germplasm evaluation proposals are now being accepted for FY2007. Proposals should be submitted to the chair by October 12, 2006 to allow enough time for ranking by LVCGC members. The proposals are due in Beltsville on November 17, 2006.

Other Discussion:
LVCGC Meeting Time.  To improve the attendance of LVCGC meetings, it was suggested to schedule the meeting in the second or third day of the conference as some people arrive late for the conference.

Representation of LVCGC.  It was mentioned that there is nobody on LVCGC to represent the chicory/endive germplasm user community.  Breeders, researchers, or anyone using the Cichorium germplasm are encouraged to serve on the committee.

Rescue of Germplasm.  One of the responsibilities of a CGC is to identify breeding programs with germplasm that is in danger of being lost due to retirement/leave of the breeders.  Larry Robertson and Barbara Hellier will contact a retired breeder, Dr. Dick Robinson at Cornell University, for possible donation of lettuce germplasm to NPGS.

Germplasm Evaluation Funding.  It was pointed out that the USDA-ARS germplasm evaluation funds usually reach researchers late in a fiscal year, which makes it harder for ARS and university researchers to utilize the funds efficiently.  It was suggested that ARS should try to make funding decisions earlier and transfer funds as the decisions are made. 

Upcoming Meetings. Due to budget constraints that limit the ability of many curators to attend international meetings, it was decided that the next LVCGC meeting should be held at the next annual ASHS conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, July 16-19, 2007.  Other meetings of interest to LVCGC members were mentioned:

  1. XXVIIth International Horticultural Congress, Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 13-19, 2006.
  2. Eucarpia Leafy Vegetables Conference, Warwick, United Kingdom, April 18-20, 2007.
  3. International Spinach Conference, Salinas, California, summer 2007.


Prepared by Beiquan Mou.