Leafy Vegetables CGC Meeting - Minutes

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

Attendees – Mark Bohning, Kevin Brink, Hallie Dodson, Ryan Hayes, Barbara Hellier, Maria Jenderek, Mary Ruth McDonald, Teddy Morelock, Beiquan Mou (Chair), Kathy Reitsma, Larry Robertson, Erik Wilkins. 

Following self-introductions, the minutes of the 2006 meeting were approved.

Crop Reports:
Celery – Larry Robertson gave a status report on the Apium germplasm collection at Geneva, New York. There are 235 accessions at Geneva (109 PIs and 126 Geneva numbered lines), and 64 accessions at Ft. Collins, Colorado that are not backed up at Geneva. Most (294) of these accessions are Apium graveolens. Seed production was conducted for 53 accessions in 2007, and 42 accessions were planted in 2007 for seed production in 2008, which will result in all accessions from Geneva being available for distribution. Once the Geneva collection has been regenerated, the Ft. Collins accessions will be transferred to the collection at Geneva.  The seeds are stored at –20oC with no humidity control at Geneva. There has been relatively little demand for the collection in the past five years, totaling 141 samples.
Chicory & Endive – Kathy Reitsma reported that the Cichorium collection at Ames, Iowa stands at 276 accessions (108 C. endivia and 168 C. intybus), of which 84% is available for distribution and 87% is backed up at Ft. Collins.  In 2006, all accessions were planted in the field to verify taxonomy and cultivar descriptions, collecting characterization notes, and acquiring digital images.  Data collected for most accessions have been loaded to GRIN.  The data are also being used to help assign PI numbers to 194 accessions with Ames numbers.  Thirteen accessions were re-named to different species, and two accessions were inactivated because the plants did not match the cultivar descriptions. Four orders have been filled thus far in 2007 resulting in 178 samples (151 accessions) distributed for foreign requests and 12 samples (10 accessions) for domestic requests.

Spinach – Kathy Reitsma (for David Brenner) reported on the collection status of 401 accessions held at Ames, which are 90% available and 93% backed up at Ft. Collins.  In 2006, 1619 seed packets were distributed, mainly as the result of four large orders for disease screening and breeding, as compared to 399 packets distributed in 2005.  In 2007, 753 samples have been distributed through July 1.  Two wild Spinacia accessions, PI 647861 and PI 647863, were regenerated and are being distributed in 20 seed samples.  Users are advised to plant them in late winter to break seed dormancy for germination the following fall.

Lettuce – Barbara Hellier reported that the collection at Pullman, Washington was increased by 28 cultivars that were released from the PVP program and 3 wild species collected in Tajikistan.  For the 1383 Lactuca sativa accessions, 80% are available for distribution and 85% backed-up at Ft. Collins.  Of the 176 L. serriola accessions, 126 had germination lower than 65% (83 accessions had 5-0% germination).  During the past year, 487seed samples were distributed in 37 orders to 27 individuals (three were foreign requests).  The full-time technician position for ELISA testing was terminated due to budget shortfalls, but efforts are being made to continue the lettuce mosaic virus (LMV) tests for virus-free seed distribution. The search continues to find a research leader for the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station at Pullman.

Other Reports:
Germplasm Evaluation Funding Reports:
Ryan Hayes reported on the proposals funded in FY2004, FY2005, FY 2006, and FY 2007. All of these projects involved screening of lettuce germplasm for resistance to wilt cause by Verticillium dahliae.  K. Subbarao, G. Vallad, and R. Hayes 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 in the field, 12 were found resistant to race 1 and none was resistant to race 2. Three resistant iceberg breeding lines were released by using the race 1 resistant cultivar La Brillante. To date, 152 accessions have been screened in the greenhouse using a race 2 isolate and 38 were selected for further testing, with another 160 accessions being screened this year.

Beiquan Mou distributed general information about the germplasm exploration/exchange and evaluation funding from USDA.  Germplasm evaluation funding for FY2008 just became available. Funding announcement and proposal format will be sent out right after the LVCGC meeting.  Proposals should be submitted to the chair by November 1, 2007 to allow enough time for ranking by LVCGC members. The proposals are due to the National Program Staff in Beltsville on December 3, 2007.

Other Discussion:
Germplasm Exploration for FY2008.  Barbara Hellier has developed a proposal to the Plant Exchange Office to collect Lactuca in Morocco in conjunction with Beta germplasm exploration during FY2008. Currently, there are few Lactuca accessions from Africa in NPGS, and this collection effort will help fill this gap. The African germplasm may possess beneficial traits such as disease resistance and heat tolerance. Beiquan Mou will write a support letter on behalf of the LVCGC.

Funding for the Lactuca Germplasm Preservation.  Attendees were concerned about the low germination rate for many of the L. serriola accessions maintained at Pullman, WA.  It was suggested to request supplemental funding from the USDA-ARS National Program Staff to support timely germination testing, seed regeneration, and LMV testing.  LVCGC and seed companies could provide support letters for the funding request.

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.

Upcoming Meetings.  It was decided that the next LVCGC meeting will be held at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) in Orlando, Florida, July 21-24, 2008.  Other meetings of interest to LVCGC members were mentioned:

  1. International Spinach Conference, Monterey, California, Sept. 24-25, 2007.
  2. 18th International Leafy Vegetable Conference, Yuma, Arizona, March 2009.


Prepared by Beiquan Mou.