Meeting Minutes
Soybean Germplasm Committee
February 13, 2006
St. Louis, MO

Members in Attendance: Glenn Bowers (Chair), Ron Hammond, John Rupe, Jeff Thompson, Roy Scott, Vince Pantalone, Randall Nelson (ex officio), Esther Peregrine (ex officio), Rusty Smith (ex officio), Philip Handley (ex officio), and Rich Wilson (ex officio).

Visitors in Attendance: Mark Bohning, Emerson Shipe, and Anne Murray (CSREES).

Minutes from the 2005 meeting were approved. The agenda for the 2006 meeting, prepared by Glenn Bowers, was also approved. Subcommittees then broke out for separate meetings.

Committee Bylaws Subcommittee

A subcommittee, consisting of Randall Nelson, Istvan Rajcan, and Jeff Thompson was established at the 2005 meeting. The charge of this subcommittee was to develop a set of proposed changes to the committee bylaws. The subcommittee was to research how the germplasm committees associated with other crops operate, including issues like committee purpose and membership terms.

The overall committee discussed the bylaws issue. Rich Wilson suggested that the purpose of the committee be defined and incorporated into the bylaws. Ideas discussed by the full committee included making recommendations to the curator, assisting with the administration of the working collection, helping identify voids in the collection, the establishment of criteria as to how the collection is maintained.

It was suggested that additional members are added to the committee to act as liaisons with other disciplines not specifically represented by the current membership. It was also suggested that these liaison representatives serve as nonvoting, supporting members. Possible disciplines with representation include molecular genetics, physiology, biochemistry, industrial uses, the food industry, the feed industry, and entomology. The liaison members could act as interfaces between the collection and their respective communities; expressing the germplasm needs of their communities to the committee, while publicizing the collection within their group.

The current structure of three-year terms for members is too short. Other Crop Advisory Committees’ members serve 5-6 year terms. It was recommended that membership on the Soybean Germplasm Committee be extended to a six-year term.

Bylaw revisions were referred back to the subcommittee. The subcommittee will prepare recommended revisions before the 2007 annual meeting.


Acquisition Subcommittee Report
[Glenn Bowers (Chair), Randall Nelson, and Jeff Thompson]

Special Collections
Rich Wilson raised the issue regarding the handling of special collections in respect to the soybean germplasm collection. Special collections include such things as mapping and tilling populations. The University of Missouri is proposing to set up a genetics stock collection. Randall Nelson indicated that the current collection cannot handle these types of collections without additional funding. In addition there are serious logistical issues, such as, how to maintain genetic purity of thousands of lines that may arise from a single parent line. This challenged could be met but it would require significant resources. Randall indicated that adding this category might double the size of the existing collection. Criteria would need to be developed to define the type of material suitable for deposit within the collection. It was noted that this is an issue that will not go away. Randall indicated that he will take this under further study and develop a plan.

Core Collection
Randall Nelson provided an update on efforts to develop a core collection. A computer program is under development. This program will combine quantitative and qualitative data to generate genetic distance between accessions in the collection. Various selection strategies are being compared.


Evaluation and Operations Subcommittees Report
[John Rupe (Chair), Ron Hammond, Esther Peregrine, and Rusty Smith]

Old Germplasm Releases – C1944 and C1945 have not been requested in some time. A motion was made by Jeff Thompson and seconded by John Rupe to remove these two lines from the collection. The motion carried.

GRIN- Mark Bohning provided a report on activities related to GRIN. Efforts are underway to determine the best method of handling genomic data. For small databases, there is no effective way to enter and display the data. For larger databases, such as soybean, the goal is to find ways to link existing databases at the accession level. The GRIN interface is being improved. There will be ways for the user to download data into their PC and put it into a spreadsheet format. Another goal is to be able access international databases from one point. This will include databases with genomic data. A shopping-cart feature has been added to GRIN.

Operations Subcommittee

Methods need to be developed that allow for input from various segments of the user community. It was suggested that a survey be developed to determine why people do not use the germplasm collection.


Enhancement Subcommittee Report
[Vince Pantalone (Chair) and Roy Scott]

The subcommittee recommended to the overall committee that this subcommittee be eliminated. After some discussion, the committee unanimously decided to eliminate the Enhancement Subcommittee.


Other Business


Election of Officers

Glenn Bowers was re-elected as chair and Istvan Rajcan was re-elected as vice-chair.


Prepared by Glenn R. Bowers.