Wheat Crop Germplasm Committee Meeting - Minutes


24 March, 2000.
Las Vegas, NV, USA.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Stephen Jones, Washington State University, and seven members were in attendance. Other members in attendance were Steven Leath, Harold Bockelman, John Moffatt, Alan Stoner, Gina Brown-Guedira, and Kim Campbell.

Jones passed out copies of the updated and revised by-laws and the new membership list. Jones and Stoner reviewed the history of the committee, from formation in the 1970' as a subcommittee of NWIC to its independence in the 1980s.


Report from the National Small Grains Collection.

H. Bockelman reported that the collection continues to grow. New additions included additional accessions from the Sando collection and more triticale entries.

The ARS may add as many as 6,000-7,000 wheats collected in Iran to the collection. A question was raised as to whether all the entries be added or only selected lines. Many of these lines are other species and durum wheats but most are T. aestivum. We know the source geographic source but not other descriptors, and some may be duplicates.

The ARS continues to add images of spikes for entries in the collection. The Aberdeen facilities are adequate to increase in the collection by 30,000-35,000 more entries.


General announcements.

Campbell reported that the Line's USDA-ARS position is open and will close soon. Leath gave an update on positions in St. Paul and on the National Program Staff.


USDA PVP issues.

Campbell discussed whether or not the ARS should use PVP for cultivars and/or germ plasm. Clearly, the ARS still wants full access and availability to the germ plasm that it releases. Leath discussed some recent release examples, such as those with ARS and Nebraska.


Trait evaluations in the collection and national priorities.

A discussion was held on the need to prioritize trait evaluations for entries in the Small Grains Collection. Currently evaluations are being completed by Line, Eversmeyer, Brown-Guedira, Hatchett, McVey, Radcliffe, and Steffenson (barley). Yue Jin and Leath both reported no money was available for evaluation. A goal was set to have a summary of germ plasm evaluations and funding for the collection by the meeting in 2001.

A lack protein and other quality data was noted. The committee felt that the collection needs a priority list of screening needs including quality evaluations and $150,000/year for exploration.

The trait evaluation subcommittee of Campbell and Brown-Guedira have made a list of current priorities and the committee should be reviewed by the committe annually. Bockelman noted that molecular data should be considered as an evaluation need.

Discussion of the Vavilov Collection.

In a summary of an IPGR report, Bokelman and Stoner indicated that the condition of the collection was much worse than most western researchers realized. Stoner will get accurate report of the collection and report to the committee if a letter of support is needed.


Ownership issues as related to international centers.

Moffatt reported that at the NWIC meetings, Sears informed him that CIMMYT may start charging for germ plasm based on CIMMYTs estimation of what recipients could afford. Fees could be as high as $100,000/year.

Stoner reminded the committee that the FAO holds this germ plasm and it is 'in trust' at the centers. Part of material is to be freely exchanged; for example, gene bank material. 'Non-designated material' from their programs can be 'sold'. He further explained that the centers lost European money under new EU laws and guidelines; for example, Germany cut contributions by 50 %. Jones will get accurate information on the germ plasm issues. Letters to ARS -and AID administrations may be needed.


Meeting dates and locations.

The committee discussed the merits of meeting with the NWIC and NAWG. Interest in meeting with NWIC was shown. However, the committee feels it can better interact with NAWG by meeting in the autumn and sending a representative to the NAWG meetings with finalized ideas. The committee voted to meet early in 2001 with NWIC and NAWG; in Beltsville, MD, in the late autumn of 2001, and send a representative to the NWIC (if necessary) and NWAG meetings.