Minutes of the Sorghum and Millet Germplasm Committee
December 7, 2006
ASTA Meeting, Chicago, IL


Dr. Jeff Dahlberg called the meeting to order. Names and addresses of the attendees are attached.

Minutes from the December 8, 2005 at the ASTA meeting had been made available to the Committee and Bruce Maunder moved to accept the minutes and Mitch Tuinstra seconded. The minutes were approved.

Dr. John Erpelding provided a Curator’s report. Four areas of regeneration efforts were discussed. They were emergency seed increases, basic collection maintenance, quarantine seed increases, and wild species regeneration. Dr. Erpelding received additional funds from the National Program Staff in carry out the wild species increase. Germplasm characterization was obtained on collections from Gambia, Chad, Algeria, Mauritania, Rwanda, Somalia, and Mozambique was taken. Data has not been uploaded to GRIN. Primary disease research continues to be on anthracnose. Dr. Fred Miller asked about the anthracnose pathotypes on the Island and Dr. Erpelding indicated that they are working to determine the various pathotypes in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Gary Pederson handed out a report about activities from Griffin. The report outlined activities on-going at the station and the work that is being conducted to further enhance both the sorghum and millet collection (see handout). As of December 06, 94% of the collection is now available for distribution and 96% is backed up. Pearl Millet has 97% of the collection available and 98% backed up. Since 2002, a total of 22,559 accessions have been tested for germination at Griffin. Dr. Pederson also indicated that old data from the Meridian collection, primarily brix and sucrose reading have been loaded into GRIN. This was done because of the interest in sweet sorghums for ethanol production and the fact that the data has been available by hardcopy for years.

Dr. Dave Ellis followed up with a brief report about activities at Fort Collins and also handed out a Summary of Sorghum bicolor in the NPGS system as of 12/01/06/. He also indicated that some research has been undertaken to evaluate how maize is holding up in liquid nitrogen storage. There could be some possible issues about long-term viability. Dr. Dahlberg asked whether a sample of sorghum might be also included for evaluation and Dr. Ellis will incorporate some sorghum in further research.

Mr. Mark Bohning followed up with a discussion on GRIN and the efforts underway to update the system. He asked for input and suggestion to make the site more readably usable. One suggestion was to have inquiries available in Excel files for download and they are working to achieve this. They are also looking to see how to integrate molecular and genomic information into the system.

Dr. Peter Bretting gave a brief report concerning efforts taking place at the National Program level (see handout). There continues to be retirements and some new hires into the system. Budgets are strained at present and the budget has not been passed, which means the whole system continues to work on continuing resolutions. International implications concerning MTAs continue to be an issue. Dr. Henry Shands asked about the Standard MTAs that is now being required with requests for germplasm from International systems. Dr. Bretting is looking for feedback on the MTAs and will send a copy to Dr. Dahlberg for distribution to the committee.

Dr. Dahlberg gave a brief update on the sequencing of sorghum, which should be completed by the Spring of 07 at 8X coverage. Seed increases of the panels have been done by Dr. Cleve Franks and phenotypic data has been taken on some of the various panels. It was suggested by Dr. Ellis that a subset of the collection be made available for Griffin for distribution. Dr. Mitch Tuinstra is increasing the panels and indicated that he would be willing to put such a subset together and get it to Griffin from 06 winter nursery.

Dr. Bill Rooney invited people to participate in a CAP (???) Proposal that he is putting together.

Dr. Dahlberg provided an update concerning the National Sorghum Producers and their efforts to launch a National Checkoff. Updates were provided on the status of INTSORMIL from Drs. Bill Rooney and Mitch Tuinstra. Funding has been reduced and efforts will be redirected. Dr. Dahlberg also gave a brief update on the Germplasm Chair meeting this past summer and the work that Dr. Bob Henzell is conducting for the Germplasm Conservation Strategy.

Research Reports: Reports from the three proposals from the 2005-2006 funding cycle were provided to the committee before the meeting.

2006-2007 Research Requests: Six requests were made to the Committee for recommendation to the ARS for funding. They included: Sorghum sp. hybridization from Rooney et al; Preserving Millet BAC Library from Wilson and Devos; Screening germplasm for head smut from Magill et al; Drought tolerance evaluation from Kofoid; Screening of waxy germplasm for Fusarium and Alternaria from Funnell and Peedersen; and, DNA MAS for resistance to greenbug from Huang. These six proposals total a request of $61,325.00. Voting members of the committee were asked to submit their priorities to Dr. Dahlberg.

It is recommended by the Committee that the following proposals should be funded: Kofoid, Rooney, and Magill. Funding levels are suggested as follows: Kofoid $9800.00, Rooney $8,000.00 and Magill at $7,200.00 for a total of $25,000.00

The next scheduled meeting will be held at the ASTA meeting in Chicago in December 07.

Dr. Dahlberg moved to close the meeting. Dr. Tuinstra seconded and the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes taken by and submitted by Jeff Dahlberg

Germplasm Meeting Attendees

John Erpelding (2)

Jeff Dahlberg (1)

Bruce Maunder (1)

Gary Pederson (2)

Jeff Pedersen (1)

Peter Bretting (2)

Mark Bohning (2)

Dave Ellis (2)

Yilma Kebede (1)

Fred Miller (2)

Lloyd Rooney

Jerry O’Rear (1)

Ken Kofoid (1)

Henry Shands (2)

Bill Rooney (1)

Mitch Tuinstra (1)

(1)2006 Sorghum and Millet Germplasm Committee Members
(2)2006 Ad Hoc Members of Sorghum and Millet Germplasm Committee