Ornamental Germplasm Acquisition in Private Industry;
Problems, Possibilities and Opportunities.
Dr. Paul Talmadge, Pan American Seed
Why look for germplasm
Problems in germplasm acquisition
- to commercialize completely new genera or species in ornamental horticulture.
- to find traits we do not have in our own breeding programs or, are not present in current pools of commercial germplasm such as; disease resistance, weather tolerance (cold, heat ,wet, dry), new/novel phenotypes, colors, foliage, form.
- to broaden the range of germplasm in our programs, so as to enhance our ability to express hybrid vigor.
These are not in order of importance
- in ornamentals- woody or herbaceous, finding the literature there are few lists and locations, especially for completely new material to the industry.
Physically finding it, where ever it is in the world. Easier said than done - can be difficult and easy at the same time.
- Literature hortus 3, herbaria, flora of various countries etc
- Botanic gardens online and in person
- Internet searches, more and more powerful
- Net work of connections of plant people maybe the most important
- Getting out and searching for material and info at botanic gardens and hobby nurseries
Use of US native germplasm, why to consider?
- USDA lots of germplasm in public bank now.
- HOCGC committee for future collection, preservation
- Network of plant people
- What do you want? Look in the appropriate place climactically(daylength, temp, moisture combo)
- Traveling to prospective locations and trying to make connections (networking)Private, public institutions
- political problems in source countries. Columbia, Venezuela, Indonesia, much of continental Africa, and others
- travel arrangements in source countries can be interesting at least. Cars, hotels, directions, roads etc.
- Disease issues in areas of exploration, Be prepared! Shots, prophylactic medications, Imodium! Cooked food, water pump, bottled water only.
Abiding by the local/international regulations
- No international importation issues
- Sourcing of germplasm much simpler
- Native plant movement very strong in industry right now.
- Lots of interesting genera with lots of potential could be looked at; eupatorium, rudbeckia, gaillardia, baptisia, iris, echinaceaetc.
Invasiveness, noxious weed potential
- local laws and regulations, often hard to find and not widely understood in the countries. Often Hard to comply
- Convention on Biodiversity this long standing agreement is talked about widely, and adapted, at least in part in some parts of the world. Provides a starting point in for germplasm transfer internationally.
- Prior informed consent where to go, what to collect, when
- Benefits sharing individual contracts
- Technology transfer interns. training
- CITES plants these plants are not available due to their listing on endangered lists. (convention on international trade in endangered species) red list, yellow list
- USDA importation of plants/seeds into the US, need to comply with all phytosanitary rules and quarantine. This alone is daunting when trying to ship anything besides seeds. Plants rarely come through alive, after being collected in the wild, prepared, then shipped internationally.
- For those involved or interested in evaluating completely new species or genera for application in commercial horticulture.
- there are numerous checklists in hard copy and on the internet for the US and many other countries for both invasive plants and noxious weeds. It is too easy to get plant material elsewhere that could prove difficult later, care must be taken before importation.
- Lists are only a starting point, there are many accessions available that do not appear on invasive or noxious weed lists that present the potential for problems.
- Careful, controlled initial evaluation of germplasm is a must to avoid these problems.
How to use the germplasm?
Ask for a show of hands of who is in research, or other capacities.
- Used unadulterated, as straight accessions from the wild
- Introgressed into breeding program, by backcross or other means
- Seed or vegetative product
As plant breeders we dream about potential, mentally comparing and combining traits and characters from different accessions, species and genera. We jump at the chance to find new accessions that may help us solve some of our problems with Disease susceptibility (rust on daylily, scab on apple, mildew on crape myrtle), weather intolerance (Kalmia, Rhododendron.). Or enlarge the market we have currently on our given genera by bringing in new plant forms (prostrate, completely upright, bush type through witchs broom.) flower or fruit size Improvements, flower or fruit color extensions. Foliage forms and colors for ornamental plants. Geographic extension for the use of our plant material through sourcing related germplasm with better climactic adaptability, whether it be hardiness to cold, hot, wet or dry.
Which one of us would not like to be responsible for having the idea and acquiring the germplasm for a new crop with potential as large as some we have today? Apple, Viburnum, Daylily, Rudbeckia, Vaccinium and a hundred others like them.
The bottom line to plant breeders is that we have a reasonably finite set of traits to work with and rearrange in different combinations in our breeding programs, when we add a new trait or set of traits(through germplasm addition) to our equation, it changes the recombinations that are possible significantly.
The market in ornamental horticulture has been, and continues to be driven by innovation and novelty. In the market sector that I work. Most, if not all of our growth has been by completely new species or new germplasm infusion in existing genera. According to the national garden beareau statistics for ornamental plants used in bedding. The marjority of the top classes have experienced negative growth in unit volume in last 3 years. The classes that have grown have been considered minor classes and some of which were not even accounted for, say 5 years ago.
Other is 46 % of US annual bedding plant sales, 30% of US cut flower sales and 25 % of US potted plant sales from a 2000 USDA survey
- Nemesia Sunsatia this is a primary f1 between commercial nemesia strumosa and another perennial species. PW Slide
- Echinacea - Meadowbright crosses of commercial germplasm with wild species have yielded a new range of colors and forms in an established class, Jim Ault from Chicago botanic garden. Slide
- Phlox Intensia this is the result of a cross between Phlox drummondii and a perennial species, bringing climactic adaptability and heterosis to the product. PW Slide
- Purple wave Petunia this cultivar is the direct result of the inclusion of new and wild germplasm into the Petunia hybrida germplasm pool. Slide
- Dragonwing begonia this fibrous rooted type begonia was developed using wild type germplasm in an interspecific cross for climatic adaptability and heterosis. Slide
- Super Elfin Stardust Impatiens the flower color pattern is directly from non related germplasm sourced and backcrossed into commercial type I. walleriana. Slide
- Blue pearl Catharanthus the light blue color of this cultivar, came directly from a different species than what was in commercial horticulture at that time. Slide
- Diascia a native genus to South Africa, derived directly from wild germplasm. Slide
- Fuchsia florabelle this cultivar was developed using commercial fuchsia germplasm combined in an interspecific hybrid with an accession of Fuchsia species for climactic adaptability, and overall heterosis. Slide