Leafy Vegetable Crop Germplasm Committee Meeting
October 3, 2003 - Providence RI  

Attendees - Becky Grube - Chair, Barbara Hellier, Maria Jenderek, Sylvie Jenni, Larry Knerr, Dean Kopsell, Joanne Labate, Jim McCreight, Henry Munger, Kathy Reitsma, Larry Robertson Dick Robinson, Ed Ryder, and Allan Stoner  

Following introductions, the minutes of the August 11, 2002 were approved.  

Larry Robertson provided a status report on the Apium germplasm collection. The active collection at Geneva, NY contains 206 accessions and an additional 65 accessions are maintained only in the base collection at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Ft. Collins, CO. Seed of 20 accessions was increased in 2003 and another 20 accessions were planted for seed production in 2004. This will leave 45 accessions that need to be regenerated. After regeneration of the active collection is completed, the accessions at the NCGRP will be added to the working collection.       

Kathy Reitsma presented a report on the Cichorium germplasm collection maintained at Ames. No new accessions have been received since 2000 and no seed regenerations were made in 2003. The collection is 83% available and 202 packets of seed had been distributed to date in 2003. Becky Grube suggested that cooperators could possibility help increase seed of the collection. Kathy indicated that she had discussed with Maria Jenderek the possibility of increasing seed at the ARS site in Parlier, CA.

Kathy Reitsma distributed a report on the Spinacia collection for David Brenner. Kathy mentioned that David is interested in obtaining additional wild Spinacia species from throughout their native ranges. Kathy asked the committee to approve the spinach descriptor list that had been distributed via e-mail. A brief discussion was held about the leaf color descriptor and the inclusion of a cultivar(s) as a reference. Becky Grube indicated that she would contact Ted Morelock to discuss possible check cultivars. The proposed descriptors were tentatively approved pending the outcome of the discussion with Ted.     

Kathy Reitsma reported that the Plant Introduction Station at Ames had been assessing their capacity to eliminate the regeneration backlogs for the genera they are responsible for. Their study concluded that an additional 25,000 square feet of greenhouse space and associated facilities (i.e. potting space, storage facilities, growth chambers, etc) is needed for seed increases. The estimated construction cost for the expanded facility is $6 - 7 million and the design cost will be 15% of the construction cost. The Ames staff is informing the appropriate CGCs of this need and requesting letters of support to appropriate ARS officials. The Committee voted to support the effort and agreed that Rebecca Grube should write letters on behalf of the CGC to Dr. Anna Hewings, Director of the Midwest Area, and to Dr. Judy St. John, NPS requesting their support for construction of additional greenhouse space.  

Barbara Hellier reported on the Lactuca collection maintained at Pullman WA. The collection contains 1,691 accessions of 22 Lactuca species and is 70% backed up at the NCGRP in Ft. Collins, CO. Barbara indicated that there is a backlog of wild species accessions needing to be regenerated.  

Ed Ryder discussed the status of the Lactuca germplasm collection at Salinas, CA. He indicated that they receive approximately 300 requests for seed per year for germplasm. The station has not addressed curatorial responsibilities for the collection since Ed's retirement. Ed briefly discussed  the ongoing use of the germplasm in the Salinas lettuce improvement program including work on identifying and using resistance to big vein, lettuce mosaic virus, powdery mildew, Verticillium wilt, Schlerotinia, Phoma crown rot and bacterial leaf spot.  

Dick Robinson indicated that he will be donating the important material from his working collection to the NPGS for preservation.  

Becky Grube reported that she had nearly completed an update of the CGC report and that it would be distributed soon. Becky also distributed a summary of the discussions that took place at the March 18, 2003 EUCARPIA meeting on Lettuce and Leafy Vegetables.  

Becky Grube indicated that she wants to receive evaluation proposals for FY 2004 by October 15, 2003. She reported that she had received 2 proposals by the time of the meeting. A discussion was held on the need for better followup to ensure that the data from NPGS funded evaluation projects is gotten to the curators who are responsible for its entry into GRIN. It was agreed that since the curators are often not aware of the allocation of evaluation funds, the CGC facilitators and those that funds are channeled through need to be more proactive in ensuring that evaluation data is sent to the curators.  

Becky Grube reported that she had written letters of support for three exchange/exploration proposals for FY 2004 funding. These included proposals to exchange Arugula germplasm in Italy and spinach germplasm in China, and to collect Beta nana in Greece. Allan Stoner indicated that the reviews of the  FY 2004 proposals were currently being summarized and would be forwarded to the ARS National Program Staff soon. Becky Grube indicated the she would give some thought to and seek input of exploration priorities for leafy vegetables.    

Becky reported on three upcoming leafy vegetable meetings - the National Spinach Conference, Fayetteville, AR, Nov 20-21, 2003; the ASHS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX, July18-21,2003; and the 17 th International Lettuce and Leafy Vegetable Conference in Montreal, Aug 28-31,2004.  It was agreed that the next meeting of the Leafy Vegetable CGC will be held in conjunction with the International Lettuce and Leafy Vegetable Conference.