M  I  N  U  T  E  S


Vigna Crop Germplasm Committee
Riverview Plaza Hotel
Mobile, AL
February 4, 2007


The Vigna Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) was called to order at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, February 4, 2007, in the Mobile Ball Room I, Riverview Plaza Hotel, Mobile, Alabama, with Richard Fery presiding. 

The following Vigna CGC members were present: Richard Fery (Chair), Graves Gillaspie (Curator, Ex-Officio), Frank Cates, Stanley Eubanks, Bill Gebhardt, Jeff Ehlers, Teddy Morelock, Judy Thies, and Nilda Burgos.  The following observers were present: Andy Scott, David Pinnow, Bill Evans, Hallie Dodson, Hway-Seen Yeung, Shardendy Singh, K. R. Reddy, David Brand, and Mark Bohning (CGC Facilitator).

The Chair opened the meeting by distributing copies of the agenda and the minutes of the 2006 meeting in Orlando, Florida.  The minutes were accepted as written.

Graves Gillaspie distributed copies of the curator’s report.  Gillaspie started his report by starting that he had retired from the USDA on February 3, 2007; he noted that this was his first day of retirement.  Gillaspie discussed his efforts during the past year to regenerate cowpea lines and distribute Vigna germplasm.  He noted that his main two points of interest during the year were 1) looking at germination percentages of the cowpea lines that have been regenerated, and 2) taking digital images of flowers, seeds, leaves, and pods.  Gillaspie noted that he will serve as an official USDA-ARS collaborator at Griffin, GA, for at least one year.  He said that he will not do any field work next year, but he would continue the growout of photoperiod-sensitive cowpea lines in a greenhouse planting at Griffin for virus-elimination and would coordinate the regeneration of other photoperiod-sensitive cowpea lines at Isabela, PR.   Gillaspie said that he would complete his efforts to scan images of leaves, flowers, and pods of the accessions in the cowpea core and have them recorded in GRIN.  Gillapsie noted that he has been the curator of the Vigna collection since 1994, and he spent several minutes summarizing his accomplishments as curator.  Gillapsie concluded his presentation by noting that the current thinking is that the USDA-ARS will hire a new curator at Griffin to work with both curcurbits and Vigna crops.

There was some discussion of the degree of overlap between the USDA cowpea germplasm collection and the University of California at Riverside (UCR) cowpea collection.  Jeff Ehlers said that UCR doesn’t have the funds needed to properly curate its cowpea collection.  Ehlers stated that most of the UCR accessions are held in the USDA collection, but he said that there are probably a number of lines in the UCR collection that aren’t held in the USDA collection.  Ehlers was encouraged initiate efforts to get all of the UCR materials into the USDA collection.  
There was discussion about the potential threat of Asian soybean rust to the U.S. southernpea/cowpea industry.  Nobody in the group reported having problems with this disease during the past year.  Additionally, there were no reports of fungicides being used during the 2006 crop season to protect commercial southernpea plantings from Asian soybean rust. 

Richard Fery discussed USDA funding for the evaluation of Vigna germplasm.  Fery noted that five germplasm evaluation proposals were received and evaluated by the committee during the past year for FY-2007 funding.

Richard Fery noted that the USDA routinely makes money available to fund plant exploration trips.  He observed that in some years plant exploration money goes unspent.  Mark Bohning noted that Dr. Jim Myers, a bean breeder at Oregon State University, is planning a plant exploration trip to Africa within the next year or two.  Bohning said that Myers would probably be willing to collect Vigna germplasm if a specific need was identified.

The priority evaluation and priority enhancement lists for cowpea were discussed.  The trait “lodging tolerance” was added to the priority evaluation list.  No change was made to the priority enhancement list.

Mark Bohning, a representative from the CGC Facilitator Office, gave a brief report.  He noted that both the Research Leader and the GRIN data base manager positions in the Plant Germplasm Resources Laboratory at Beltsville, MD, are now vacant.  He said that Dr. Allan Stoner has been retired for two years, but no permanent Research Leader has been hired yet.  He also noted that Jim Mowder, the GRIN data base manager, retired last month.  Bohning said that efforts are being continued to improve the GRIN web interface.  He also stated that new software is being developed to facilitate the loading of molecular data into GRIN.

The committee discussed its membership composition.  No changes were recommended.  Richard Fery agreed to serve another year as chair.

The committee discussed plans for its next meeting.  It was agreed that the committee would meet next year in Dallas, TX, concurrent with the SR-ASHS meeting.   The next meeting of the Vigna CGC was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Sunday, February 3, 2008, in Dallas, TX.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.