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Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Utilization
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
Plant genetic resources, along with water, air, soil, minerals, and crop management practices, are crucial parts of the agricultural production system that sustains humanity. The stability of the agricultural system of the United States and of the Southern Region is based primarily on non-indigenous crops such as peanuts, sorghum, bermudagrass, and many other crops that were imported years ago. Plant breeders, geneticists, plant pathologists, entomologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, ecologists, and other scientists benefit from access to a wide range of genetic variation that they may subsequently utilize in crop-specific selection, characterization, and evaluation studies. Genetic resources will impact future research and generations by ensuring that crop genetic diversity, including wild relatives of crops, are available for utilization in research whose specific objectives are not yet known.
2010 Project Description
Research at the University of Kentucky that is relevant to S-009 includes Todd Pfeiffer's sweet sorghum breeding program, several biomass (sorghum, switchgrass, and Miscanthus) trials, forage grass breeding, and clover breeding. Several warm-season grasses have been evaluated for winter hardiness and agronomic performance in Kentucky. A finger millet trial was conducted during 2010 to determine its potential as a gluten-free grain.
Germplasm sent to Kentucky in 2009 from S-009 included sorghum, pepper, watermelon, clovers, peanut, Ipomoea, vinca, and some grasses. In 2009, more university researchers requested accessions than private companies or individuals, with three institutions housing these researchers (University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, and Kentucky Wesleyan University). In 2009, a total of 69 accessions from Griffin were shipped to Kentucky.