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Maintenance of the Pea Gene Bank - GC0142

The sustainable development and improvement of UK crops in the face of new or increasing biotic and abiotic stresses is heavily dependent on germplasm resources. Access to well characterised genetic resources are essential to the underpinning of progress in plant science research and for the genetic improvement of crops through commercial breeding. The conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources are cited as contributing directly to Defra`s objectives concerning a sustainable, competitive food supply chain, sustainable, diverse and adaptable farming and sustainable management of natural resources. The support of key ex situ germplasm collections is in line with Defra’s policy on genetic resources for food and agriculture for England and Wales and Defra’s role as lead ministry meeting UK commitments for conservation of plant genetic resources under both the Convention on biological Diversity (1994) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture (2004).

This proposal aims to conserve, develop, promote and distribute germplasm resources from the pea collection based at the John Innes Centre which is widely recognised as one of the foremost ex-situ collections for pea genetic resources worldwide. The collection currently stands at just over 3450 accessions and has wide representation of wild accessions, landraces from the primary an secondary centres of diversity, as well as cultivars and breeders lines from the different breeding pools across the world. The collection also includes subsets of material that are unique reference points for pea research and breeding. These include the world reference collection of mutation stocks for pea which underpin the Pisum gene list and mapping work as well as sets of host differentials for disease work and breeding cited in the international UPOV guidelines for pea.

ithin the UK the collection and its resources form a central resource within the Defra supported Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN: AR0711) formed in 2005. This network brings together the academic and commercial sectors to work together on key priorities identified by the breeders for improving pulse crops in the UK. The pea is the primary crop within this network and the JIC pea collection has provided a wide range of exotic germplasm for one of the work packages and targeted variation for a number of specific issues which have emerged from the network. A range of web-based documents associated with different aspects of the collection are available from the GRU pages of the JIC website. Web-searchable databases of passport data and genetic stocks data are also accessible to enquirers to the web site. Passport data on the collection prepared on the basis of FAO/IPGRI multicrop passport descriptors has already been loaded into the UK national plant inventory of ex-situ resources and is accessible via the Defra supported UK Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture web portal.

The project will support the continued development of the collection through the further characterisation of material in the field and glasshouses and the distribution of germplasm and related information through ongoing programme of new introductions, characterisation and dissemination of information associated with the collections. The promotion of the collection will be through articles, publications, talks, visits and growing demonstrations of material at the JIC and at other venues where the opportunity arises.

This project is continued in GC0145.

i) To maintain and characterise the 3450 accessions within the pea collection. To manage the collection by dealing with new introductions and their characterisation (30-50 per year) and the regeneration of older accessions and stocks in need of multiplication.

ii) To maintain and update associated passport and characterisation databases associated with the collection. This includes stock management, passport and characterisation files. Also includes the revision of existing data and the further collection of data as new information becomes available.

iii) To develop and facilitate access to the collection via the development of web based documentation, searchable databases.

iv) To promote and enhance awareness of the collection through the growing of demonstrations of reference material from the collection for researchers and breeders to observe at first hand the variation within the collection.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2012

Cost: £208,066
Contractor / Funded Organisations
John Innes Centre (BBSRC)
Plant Genetic Resources              
Science Policy              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Fields of Study
Plant Genetics