Minutes of the Small Fruit Crop Germplasm Committee meeting

October 23, 2007  
4:00 – 6:00 PM
Ramada Inn
State College, Pennsylvania


            Adam Dale, University of Guelph, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada
            Chad Finn, USDA ARS, HCRL, Corvallis, OR           
            Jim Luby, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
            Patrick Moore, Washington State Univ., Puyallup, WA
            Mark Ehlenfeldt, USDA-ARS, BCRC, Chatsworth, NJ
            Courtney Weber, Cornell University, NYSAES, Geneva, NY Chair
            Kim Hummer, USDA-ARS, NCGR, Corvallis, OR,     ex officio
            Kim Lewers, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD
            Mark Bohning, USDA-ARS Plant Germplasm Program Specialist, Beltsville, MD
            ex officio
            Tom Sjulin, Pacific Berry Associates
            Brian Smith, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
            Jill Bushakra, Driscoll Strawberry Associates
            Phil Stewart, Driscoll Strawberry Associates
            Chaim Kempler, Ag Canada, British Columbia

Committee Membership/Administration

      A discussion was held concerning adding members to the committee with a special focus on adding plant pathologists since most of the current membership are plant breeders. Mark Gleason at Iowa State University and Barb Smith at the USDA where suggested as possible candidates. It was resolved that the chair would approach these candidates.

      A discussion on the chairing of the committee was held. Courtney Weber has been chair since 2002 and would like to step down. Gina Fernandez and Kim Lewers were suggested as possible candidates. Kim mentioned a possible conflict of interest due Peter Bretting’s (spouse) position in the National Program Office. Gina was not present. It decide that Courtney would work with the candidates to come up with a proposed succession.

(Chair replacement update: Discussions with Gina and Kim indicated Kim was interested in becoming chair and that there is no problem with conflict of interest. I will work with Kim over the coming months to have a smooth hand over of the chair’s duties. CAW 2/8/07)

NCGR Report

NGRS Report


National Program Office Report

 2007-08 Germplasm Evaluation Proposals
            There were 3 proposals submitted to the Small Fruits CGC for consideration. The committee recommended funding the proposal submitted by Shengrui Yao and James Luby at the University of Minnesota entitled “Evaluation of recent North American and Asian Fragaria accessions for cold hardiness and leaf disease resistance”. It was recommended that the revisions called for by the committee be completed prior to recommending the proposal to the National Program Office. The chair will oversee this process.

Other Business

            A discussion was held about the use of international descriptors for uniformity in describing small fruits accessions. A list of strawberry descriptors was circulated from the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources from the Commission of European Communities: Committee on Disease Resistance Breeding and Use of Genebanks. The committee was generally agreed that more uniform descriptors would be useful but that the list from the European Commission was overly complex and not greatly useful.  It was suggested that the breeders should be surveyed to come up with a list of universal descriptors. It was also suggested that Chuck Simon, PGRU, Geneva, NY be contacted since he started this discussion in fruit crops.

            A discussion on blueberry nomenclature was held to try to clarify the species names used for various accession and breeding material. Mark E. suggested a simplification of naming. No conclusions were made but more discussion will be held.