Annual Grants Program

The Program provides funding to support conservation of imperiled collections of genetic resources and genetic stocks critical to California. The support is targeted toward living collections that are in danger of being lost or are in need of attention to be safely conserved, documented, and made available for research or other uses. The funds available are from the Program’s general budget from the State of California. Indirect costs are not allowable. It is expected that collections to be assisted will be maintained and will be accessible to researchers. At the end of the fiscal year, reports documenting work enabled by GRCP, including an inventory of supported collections, are required.

The proposal-receipt deadline for FY2007–2008 was 28 September 2007 and awards were announced 18 November 2007.

A roster of projects funded since 1985, when GRCP was established, through FY 2007–2008 is available in pdf format.

Genetic Resources Task Forces

The Avian Genetic Resources Task Force was a US national and Canadian committee of researchers, federal agency officials, and private industry representatives convened to assess the status of poultry genetic resources in these two countries. The work was motivated by the increasing loss of important collections of chicken genetic stocks primarily due to reduced funding and retirements. GRCP employed a part-time analyst (J.M. Pisenti) to facilitate the task force activities. A survey of US and Canadian institutions was conducted to determine current holdings. The results of this survey and the task force’s evaluation of the status data, valuation of the extant stocks, and recommendations for the long-term conservation of critical material are presented in their report “Avian Genetic Resources at Risk: An Assessment and Proposal for Conservation of Genetic Stocks in the USA and Canada”.

The Citrus Genetic Resources Task Force was a committee of citrus industry representatives, researchers, curators, and USDA representatives organized to address the long-term status of citrus genetic resources maintained in California, primarily those at the UC Riverside campus. The citrus industry is one of the most productive agricultural industries in California and its success has been due to the development of new citrus varieties that made use of genes from the Citrus Variety Collection at UC Riverside. GRCP and the task force officially released its report “Citrus genetic resources in California: Analysis and recommendations for long-term conservation” on September 12, 2001.

The Avocado Genetic Resources Task Force is a committee of California avocado researchers and industry representatives convened to determine the status of avocado genetic resources. An inventory is underway, primarily of UC Riverside holdings, and will be used by the task force in its assessment. Since important germplasm can still be collected from wild species, not native to California or the US, an international meeting will be held to determine the extent of conservation that occurs in those habitats and to assess the holdings in other national collections. The task force will issue a report on its findings, including its recommendations.

International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI)

With support of extramural funding, GRCP managed ITMI: an informal consortium of geneticists dedicated to developing recombination maps of the genomes of the species in the Triticeae tribe of the Poaceae family. Comparative mapping among the various genomes in polyploid species and in the diploid progenitors was a major goal for ITMI because of the importance of the various species as gene donors to the Triticeae crop plants (primarily wheat and barley) and for studies of evolutionary relationships and genome structure. The informal nature of ITMI encouraged independent research within the primary participating laboratories and at the same time encouraged collaboration so that good maps would be obtained rapidly and materials and resources could be shared. The progress in building such recombination maps was steady and the initial objectives of ITMI were achieved for wheat and barley. The momentum and data from these maps have been a major impetus for the increasing interest in genomics and comparative mapping both within Triticeae and between species of Triticeae and those of other grass tribes. Accordingly, a process for the reorganization of ITMI was carried out reflecting the extension of genomics research to species of the Triticeae. ITMI is now hosted by the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. Dr. Peter Langridge is the new managing coordinator. Further information is available at the new ITMI web site.

An electronically accessible database (GrainGenes) of Triticeae genome maps and mapping information, much of it contributed by ITMI collaborators, is maintained by the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Annual ITMI workshops are held to review progress in Triticeae genetic mapping and to exchange research results. The 2006 ITMI Public Workshop was held 27–31 August 2006 in Victor Harbor, SA Australia conjunction with the Genomics Symposium of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. The 2005 ITMI Public Workshop was held 29–31 May 2005 in Bozeman, MT USA. The 2002 ITMI Public Workshop was held 1–4 June 2002 in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. The 2001 ITMI Public Workshop was held 10–15 September 2001 in Edinburgh and Dundee Scotland. The 2000 ITMI Public Workshop was held 14–16 June 2000 at the University of Delaware. The 1999 ITMI Public Workshop was held 25–28 August 1999 in Viterbo, Italy. The 1998 ITMI Public Workshop was held August 2 in conjunction with the Ninth International Wheat Genetics Symposium, 2–7 August 1998 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

MILPA Project

With extramural support of the McKnight Foundation, GRCP manages a multi-investigator, multi-location, international conservation project: Conservation of Genetic Diversity and Improvement of Crop Production in Mexico: A Farmer-Based Approach. The project entails (1) a description and analysis of the relationships between farmer knowledge, socio-economic factors, and genetic diversity in the Mexican milpa agroecosystem; (2) a characterization of the structure of crop biodiversity and the magnitude of gene flow from wild or cultivated relatives to maize, bean, and squash crops; and (3) the development and evaluation of on-farm breeding methods to improve the productivity of local landrace gemplasm through mass selection of introgression from improved germplasm (maize) or wild or cultivated relatives (bean and squash).

Wheat Genomics Projects

With extramural support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), GRCP serves as project management office for multi-investigator, multi-institution plant genome research projects.

  • Haplotype polymorphism in the polyploid wheats and their diploid ancestors, DBI-0321757, PI: Jan Dvorak, Professor, UC Davis Dept. of Plant Sciences. This project began September 1, 2003 and runs until August 31, 2007. It involves nine laboratories in four states. The project builds on the resources generated in the following two projects with the goal of discovering 1,800 wheat SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and making publicly accessible their location in wheat chromosomes and the tools for their detection. More information on the project is available at its public website.
  • Assessment of the insular organization of the wheat D genome by physical mapping, DBI-0077766, PI: Jan Dvorak, Professor, UC Davis Dept. of Plant Sciences. This project ran four years, September 1, 2000 through August 31, 2004. It involved five laboratories in two states and generated a resource of some 200,000 fingerprinted BAC clones ordered into the physical map of the wheat D genome, yielding a detailed picture of gene distribution. More information is available at the public website for the project.
  • The structure and function of the expressed portion of the wheat genomes, DBI-9975989, PI: Calvin O. Qualset, GRCP Director Emeritus. The project ran four years, September 1, 1999 through August 31, 2003, involved 13 laboratories in 10 states, and generated some 110,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) for wheat, physically mapping about 40,000 loci generated from about 8,000 ESTs. More information is available at the public website for the project.

This page last updated January 10, 2008. Copyright UC Regents. All rights reserved.