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David Tay*

In plant germplasm conservation, “orthodox” seed (i.e. seed that survives drying down to low moisture content) is the most suitable propagule for long-term storage. In general, high quality seeds of around 5% seed moisture content can be stored for 5-15 years at 2°C and 15-50 years at -18°C. Globally, there are some 1,300 genebanks and 6.1 million accessions of food and industrial crops in conservation. When collecting and conserving plant germplasm, seed science and technology have to be applied during germplasm collection; seed regeneration-germination, seedling establishment, flower synchronization, pollination, harvesting, drying, processing and packaging; seed storage and conservation; characterization and evaluation; and finally, distribution. Some of the seed science knowledge and technology skills encompass seed sampling strategy, sample size, seed health, germination and vigor testing, dormancy breaking, scarification, stratification, vernalization, photoperiod treatment, isolation and pollination techniques, harvesting, threshing, drying, hermetic packaging, storage facility design, etc. The goal is to produce seed lots that fulfill the required genetic, physical, physiological and health quality. A summary was presented to relate germplasm conservation activities to seed science and technology. Some of the seed production, processing and testing equipment used were highlighted. Seed research in germplasm conservation is therefore crucial to streamline the operation and management of a genebank to make it more cost effective and attractive for funding.

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María del C. Montalvo-Peniche, Lourdes G. Iglesias-Andreu, Javier O. Mijangos-Cortés, Sara L. Nahuat-Dzib, Felipe Barahona-Pérez, Adriana Canto-Flick, and Nancy Santana-Buzzy

of 5.8 before sterilization. The meristems were incubated in a photoperiod condition of 16/8 h (light/dark) at 50 μmol·m 2 ·s −1 of light intensity and 28 ± 2 °C. Table 1. In vitro germplasm conservation experimental design for Capsicum

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David M. Hunter and Martin F. Gadsby

Mature seedling trees of pear (Pyrus communis and interspecific hybrids), and fruiting trees of peach and nectarine (Prunus persica), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), and pear were relocated during the dormant season using tree spades. During the growing season immediately following, some signs of drought stress were noticed but all trees grew well enough that they could be used as a source of budwood for limited propagation purposes. When drip irrigation was supplied, supplemented by overhead irrigation as required, normal growth and production resumed within two growing seasons of the move. Some tree losses (less than 10% of trees moved) were reported from one site where the soil type was Fox sand with very poor water holding capacity. These tree losses were attributed to an inadequate water supply to the root ball, even though the site was irrigated. Our experience has demonstrated the feasibility of relocating relatively large trees, which can be beneficial for germplasm conservation in a tree fruit breeding program. However, it is probably not economically viable to relocate such trees for commercial production.

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Li-Qiang Tan, Xin-Yu Wang, Hui Li, Guan-Qun Liu, Yao Zou, Shen-Xiang Chen, Ping-Wu Li, and Qian Tang

) understand the genetic diversity of BCTZ and NJDY; 2) select individuals with potential for breeding; and 3) provide guidance for germplasm conservation efforts. Materials and Methods Plant materials. We investigated the distribution areas of BCTZ and NJDY in

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Laura L. Benson, Warren F. Lamboy, and Richard H. Zimmerman

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) currently holds 36 separate accessions of the `Yichang' clone of Malus hupehensis (Pamp.) Rehd. The `Yichang' clone originally entered the United States in 1908 as seed collected for the Arnold Arboretum by E.H. Wilson near Yichang, Hubei Province, China. The original description of M. hupehensis omits fruit characters, and botanists frequently augment these omissions with descriptions of the `Yichang' clone. Apomixis occurs in Malus, including M. hupehensis, and is strongly associated with elevated ploidy levels. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were used to characterize 65 accessions of M. hupehensis. To check for polyploidy, a set of M. hupehensis accessions was evaluated with flow cytometry. The simple sequence repeat phenotypes and ploidy information revealed the `Yichang' clone under various accession names in arboreta. It was neither known nor suspected that the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System held many duplicate accessions of the `Yichang' clone prior to their molecular characterization. Germplasm conservation decisions for Malus species can benefit from an increased knowledge of the genetic variation or lack thereof in naturalized populations and ex situ collections.

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Margarita Clemente, Pilar Contreras, Juana Susín, and Fernando Pliego-Alfaro

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Ronald S. Revord, J. Michael Nave, Ronald S. Revord, J. Michael Nave, Gregory Miller, Nicholas Meier, J. Bryan Webber, Michael A. Gold, and Tom Wahl

The Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume) and other Castanea species (Castanea spp. Mill.) have been imported and circulated among growers and scientists in the United States for more than a century. Initially, importations of C. mollissima after 1914 were motivated by efforts to restore the American chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.], with interests in timber-type characters and chestnut blight resistance. Chestnut for orchard nut production spun off from these early works. Starting in the early 20th century, open-pollinated seeds from seedlings of Chinese chestnut and other Castanea species were distributed widely to interested growers throughout much of the eastern United States to plant and evaluate. Germplasm curation and sharing increased quite robustly through grower networks over the 20th century and continues today. More than 100 cultivars have been named in the United States, although a smaller subset remains relevant for commercial production and breeding. The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry curates and maintains a repository of more than 60 cultivars, and open-pollinated seed from this collection has been provided to growers since 2008. Currently, more than 1000 farms cultivate seedlings or grafted trees of the cultivars in this collection, and interest in participatory on-farm research is high. Here, we report descriptions of 57 of the collection’s cultivars as a comprehensive, readily accessible resource to support continued participatory research.

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Erik J. Sacks and Dina A. St. Clair

The influence of cryogenic pollen storage on fruit set and seed production in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) was investigated. Flowers pollinated with pollen samples stored for 5 weeks at –80C, with or without 20 h precooling at 4C, had similar fruit set and number of viable seed per fruit as those pollinated with fresh pollen. Pollen samples, which were repeatedly cooled (–80C) and warmed (to 22 to 24C) for up to six cycles, continuously maintained the same viability as the fresh pollen. When cryogenically stored pollen of L. esculentum 2-837, LA359, LA3198, and LA3199 were used to pollinate LA359, the number of viable seed formed per fruit differed significantly. Results of this study suggest that pollen cryopreservation can be used successfully for tomato breeding and germplasm storage.

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L.X. Zhang, W.C. Chang, Y.J. Wei, L. Liu, and Y.P. Wang

Cryopreservation of pollen from two ginseng species —Panax ginseng L. and P. quinquefolium L.—was studied. Freezing anthers that served as pollen carriers to –40C before liquid N storage affected pollen viability little after liquid N storage. Anther moisture content affected pollen viability significantly when stored in liquid N. The ideal anther moisture content to carry pollen for liquid N storage was 32% to 26% for P. ginseng and 27% to 17% for P. quinquefolium. Viability of pollen from P. quinquefolium anthers with 25.3% moisture content changed little after 11 months of liquid N storage.

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M. Taylor Perkins, Anna Claire Robinson, Martin L. Cipollini, and J. Hill Craddock

Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands, the causal pathogen of phytophthora root rot (PRR) of chestnut, is one of the main obstacles to growth of american chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Bork.] in the southern part of its distribution. To facilitate introgression of PRR resistance of chinese chestnut (C. mollissima Blume) into a C. dentata genetic background, we assessed the disease resistance of 10 interspecific hybrid families derived from potentially resistant C. mollissima cultivars. Hybrid progeny were inoculated with P. cinnamomi in the nursery and assessed for root lesion severity after 1 year of growth. Asymptomatic plants were transplanted to a P. cinnamomi-positive orchard and evaluated for survival midway through the following growing season. During the nursery experiment, 8 of 10 hybrid families were not significantly different from susceptible C. dentata controls for average disease resistance scores. However, multiple asymptomatic individuals were identified in each of the eight families. Two of the 10 hybrid families were not significantly different from the resistant C. mollissima and C. henryi controls. In the P. cinnamomi-positive orchard, the prescreened hybrid families displayed a greater proportion of survivors than backcross families that had not been prescreened for P. cinnamomi resistance. Hybrid plants that have survived 2 years of growth in P. cinnamomi-infested potting media and soils represent an important step toward the production of genetically diverse chestnut populations in the southeastern United States that combine the PRR resistance of C. mollissima with the morphology and local adaptation of C. dentata.