New Crops Crop Germplasm Committee Meeting Minutes

October 7, 2007, 13:00 - 15:00
Annual AAIC Meeting at Holiday Inn-By the Bay, Portland, Maine

In attendance: D. Johnson, B. Hellier, V. Bradley, D. Brenner, B. Morris, M. Bohning, C. Gardner, R. Juliani, W. Phippen, T. Miller, T. Coffelt, D. Dierig and M. Jenderek

D. Dierig called the meeting to order at 15:00. Introduction of attendees – see ‘In attendance’

-M. Bohning presented the 2007 National Program Staff Report (attached) and a combined DBMU, PEO and PDRU report (attached). Currently, the DMU has only an acting RL. The position of J. Mowder, (retired) was closed. Q. Shinnot is the acting RL for both positions. Tables for molecular data were established with directions and advices from the NCGRP Fort Collins, CO. Molecular data are being loaded in GRIN from various sources.

Discussion; C. Gardner indicated a need for establishing a GRIN database for germplasm of genetically modified organisms; according to M. Bohning this is included in the next 5 year project plan. The plan also addresses three areas of concern as public interference, database for molecular data and plant diversity. PC-GRIN to be used by other countries is under development. The DMU works with the Trust Fund to make data available to anyone; a stearring committee is being organized to establish guidelines. B. Hellier – the ability of getting Excel tables made GRIN more user friendly. W. Phippen expressed a concern regarding image retrieval, they do not have enough resolution; C. Gardner advised to contact curators to get a better quality of images. D. Dierig suggested to M. Bohning to present a GRIN use demo showing what is available on GRIN. Perhaps a session or a workshop on GRIN changes and features could be included in the next AAIC meeting program.

B. Hellier presented a report on Salvia, Plantago and Taraxacum (report attached). Taraxacum (Russiandandelion) contains latex and rubber. A collection trip was proposed in Kazakhstan – the native site of Taraxacum. She wants to establish a live collection in Pullman from seeds stored at the NCGRP, Fort Collins, CO and already asked D. Ellis for seed samples.

Discussion: D. Johnson thinks that all Fort Collins stored accessions are not viable; some accessions are grown in Uzbekistan. B. Hellier plans to get seed samples from VIR and she will send them to Ch. Walters. T. Coffelt indicated that some species of dandelion produce rubber all year around without a cold treatment requirement. Together with J. McCoy, B. Hellier collected some Taraxacum accessions in Georgia during their last month collection trip. C. Gardner suggested instead of collection trips, we should ask Ana Gubanov to send us the germplasm; A. Gubanov is the head of the Georgia germplasm collections and spent several weeks in the U.S. visiting the NPGS repositories. In B. Hellier’s opinion we may ask for shipment of some germplasm but other germplasm needs to be collected. Past collection trips of B. Hellier were funded by the PEO and supported by the New Crops CGC.

D. Dierig reported that the Brassica CGC plans to separate germplasm of Brassica into ‘leafy’ and ‘oil seeds’ species. Currently, Brassica oil seeds are not represented in any CGC. Perhaps a letter to M. Fornham, chair of the Brassica CGC should be written to make a case for a separation of ‘edible’ from ‘industrial oil’ Brassica crops. D. Johnson volunteered to write such a letter; canola and camelina would be included.

Nominations of new CGC members
-Travis Miller, Texas A&M, works on biofuel crops, extension specialist
-corrections of info in the New Crops CGC Committee Members for 2007-2008 were made.

Plant Descriptors and update of New Crops Crop Database – were covered by email. The last crop added to the New Crop Database was Taraxacum by B. Hellier. W. Phippen suggested a revision of rating for Cuphea.

2008 Evaluation Proposals
Only one proposal was submitted “Glucosinolate profiles of the USDA Limnanthes and Lesquerella collections” by A. Brown in collaboration with B. Hanson. Discussion: A preliminary screening method should be developed in addition to the one described in the proposal should be used; What glucosinolates will be or should be evaluated, there are ca. 120 different of them, they are not the same; Why send money to California when the USDA, ARS Lab in Peoria, IL can do the evaluation? A. Brown should be asked:
a) Do we know that glucosinolates in Lesquerella and Limnanthes are toxic to animals, especially cows? D. Dierig – some ‘yes’. Quantitative data are needed.
b) To include camelina; A. Brown should contact D. Johnson for camelina accessions to be included
c) The proposal should be forwarded to T. Isbell for a technical review of the proposal and checking if collaboration would be more cost effective.
Evaluation proposals should pertain to NPGS germplasm. D. Dierig will submit the proposal to T. Isbell for a review.

Reports – cont.
D. Brenner – presented a report on Amaranthus, Chenopodium, Perilla, misc. umbels as Anethum, Coriandrum, Foeniculum, Petroselinum and 37 other genera (report attached). Recommendation for establishing ‘biomass trait capture’ descriptors is needed, as well as the CGC guidance on relative efforts to be devoted to this area. Discussion: Interested parties should look for analogies in grasses. Chemical engineers may be asked for similarities with lignin, or enzymatic hydrolysis, or remote sensing. D. Brenner will formulate the descriptors in cooperation with W. Phippen and T. Miller and a pertinent research group, and will submit the descriptors to D. Dierig for a discussion among the CGC members. D. Dierg will also ask T. Isbell for his opinion.

C. Gardner – presented a report on Cuphea, Vernonia and Euphorbiaceae collections (for L. Marek), Echinacea and Hypericum collections (for J. McCoy), Ocimium (for K. Reitsma), Calendula and Tanacetum (for M. Widrlechner).  Discussion: The Medicinal plants Curator position is renewed until 2010; M. Widrlechner is the lead scientist in the medicinal plant project. The position needs more funding or should be phased out. A PowerPoint presentation on Calendula is available. Photoperiod studies are needed on tropical and African germplasm accessions; how to control flowering in these accessions?

B. Morris – presented his report on crotolaria, guar, castorbean, Hibiscus cannabinus and H. sabdariffa, sesame, Leucaena leucocephala (report attached).

V. Bradley – presented her report on Carthamus (report attached). V. Bradley was suggested to contact D. Rubis for his research on safflowers.

S. Stieve (not present) submitted her report on Asclepias, Oenothera and Stokesia (report attached).

Other business
Industrial crops are not included in the Horticultural Specialty Crops initiative of the Farm Bill.

Next New Crops CGC meeting – will be held during the 2008 AAIC meeting at College Station, Texas on Sunday afternoon.

Submitted by M. Jenderek