MINUTES  OF  MEETING  AT  Las Cruces, NM, 3:30PM, March 4, 2007

Socorro Room, Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces


Members:   Chuck Reilly and Tommy Thompson    
Visitors:    Richard Heerema and Charles Graham                                         

Minutes approved.   The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Thompson.  The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.  

NPGS Germplasm Evaluation Proposals (GEP).   Thompson reviewed the two proposals that have been approved by this CGC and sent forward for possible funding.  There was obvious support for both of these proposals.  Improved salt tolerance for rootstocks in the West continues to be a high priority research item.  Graham also reviewed the danger the Formosan subterranean termite poses in Louisiana and other eastern areas.  Thompson has received no word so far about funding for either of these proposals.  Possible funding is for USDA FY07.  USDA still doesn’t have a budget for 2007.  Thompson then reviewed the GEP proposal process.   Thompson usually receives a letter inviting submission of GEP proposals in July each year stating that proposals are due in Oct.  The proposals are always for the next ARS fiscal year, but extensions are always allowed.  The grants are usually for one year and for $15,000 to $20,000.  The objective of any grant should involve the collection of data that will be entered into GRIN.  Thompson will forward information on dates for submission when received.   

Repository Activities:    Reilly reviewed status of the CGC Provenance test that Grauke and Wood established at College Station, TX and Byron, GA.  The trees at Byron are being thinned by moving the excess trees to a new area near the entrance to the Byron Lab.  The work should be completed shortly.  Extra money was obtained from the ARS NGRL (National Germplasm Resources Laboratory) .   This spacing out of the trees will allow for a more permanent experiment and allow the trees to develop naturally.

Items from Mark Bohning of the NGRL:   Thompson reviewed these items.  1) GRIN needs to handle molecular data being generated on NPGS accessions and also needs to interact with the Genome Databases.  A very active sub-committee has been established which is developing a new software to allow site users to load the data which is currently being tested in the development database.  They are using the test data from the Blueberry database from Corvallis, WA.  2) The GRIN public interface needs to be re-written.  Another sub-committee is developing new procedures here.  A new front end look has been developed and has been reviewed.  The next step is to start looking at the real “guts” of the system to see how best to get into the query part of GRIN making it much easier to use and also better ways to display and download the data.  3) GRIN personnel are still working with the international community to develop a method to allow searches across databases.  The plan is for IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) to develop a plant genetic resources portal where additional fields can be added to search on including descriptors.  4)  The NGRL Research Leader position has not been filled.  Dr. Gary Kinard of the Plant Disease Research Unit is acting RL.  Also, Jim Mowder (GRIN Database Manager) just retired.

Plant Exploration Proposals:   Thompson reviewed procedures and timetables.  Proposals are due July 20, 2007.  Brief pre-proposals for foreign explorations are requested by April 20.  Pre-proposals are highly recommended, but not mandatory.
Western Rootstocks:   There was considerable discussion about the suitability of rootstocks being used on new trees being planted in the West.  Wichita and Elliott are being used to some extent in addition to the regular cultivars.  Some stion trees for new plantings in the West are being produced by nurseries farther east.  Evidently Wichita is superior to Elliott as far as salt resistance.  There was obvious support for the CGC proposal on salt resistance by Miyamoto that our committee just submitted for funding.
New Business  None.
Next Meeting.   Place and time of next meeting was considered.  After some discussion, it was agreed that we would try to meet in conjunction with the Western Pecan Growers Association at Las Cruces, NM in March 2008. 

Meeting Adjourned

Updated:  March 9, 2007