USDA/ARS/MWA - Plant Physiology and Genetics Research Unit
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign - Department of Agronomy
|S-123 Turner Hall
1102 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801-4798
(217) 333-6064 [fax]
During the 1992 calendar year, 2,606 seed samples were supplied in response to 229 requests. Of these, a total of 54 requests were received from 17 foreign countries. The numbers of requests and seed samples distributed are similar to figures for calendar year 1991.
As a result of favorable rainfall distribution, the past growing season was the most successful of recent years. About three acres of nursery were grown. Good increases were obtained of numerous stocks that were in low supply. There was an increase of the basic set of wx1-marked translocations, together with supplementary stocks from other sources, particularly those derived by Don Robertson. Increases were made of a basic set of B-A translocations with breakpoints distributed over the genome and of about fifty additional ones located in the long arms of chromosomes 3, 4, or 10.
Special plantings were made of several categories of stocks, including goldens, yellow stripes, necrotics, viviparous kernels, nuclear male steriles and numerous additional endosperm or seedling mutants. Some tests for allelism were made within groups.
Greenhouse sandbench plantings were made to determine or confirm genotypes relative to seedling traits. Field plantings were also grown to develop pedigree information with regard to mature plant traits. Such information is used to determine or verify genetic constitutions of sources used to perpetuate stocks and supply seed requests.
During the year a reel-type irrigation system was obtained that should provide much greater assurance of perpetuating field-grown stocks that are weak or ill-adapted to heat or drought stress conditions. In addition, a second coldroom essentially doubling current seed storage capacity has been completed and will be fully operational as soon as seed drawers are available. This additional capacity will find immediate use for storage of seed samples currently held at room temperature pending availability of supplementary long-term storage. It will also be needed in the near future for stocks anticipated to be received from other established collections.
Catalog items change from year to year, so requests should be based on the latest listing. A revised listing of stocks available upon request will continue to appear each year in the Maize Genetics Cooperation € News Letter. This listing, which is widely available throughout the maize community, has served as a basis for seed requests. Information on genetic stock availability will also be accessible electronically over the internet (see below).
In making requests, you should indicate both the code number and the genotype of each stock. This information allows us to recognize typographical errors in some cases, or to seek verification of intent when these two types of information are in conflict. In addition to mail, phone and FAX, we can now also accept stock requests by e-mail. Please note our new FAX number and e-mail address.
Each year, additional stocks are received that include mutant alleles of known genes, or gene combinations, or unidentified and untested mutant traits. During the past year numerous stocks were received from the collection developed by Marcus M. Rhoades. Over the course of the next few years the Stock Center will need to assemble numerous additional unique genetic stocks from collections maintained by several individuals who are approaching, or who have reached, retirement from active research. In some cases, stocks will need to be grown to obtain increases of good quality seed for continued storage. In other cases, seedstocks may be suitable for immediate storage in the National Seed Storage Laboratory at Fort Collins, with working samples held at the Stock Center.
We wish to re-emphasize that if you submit genetic stocks to our collection that involve traits requiring special techniques, facilities or skills for classification (e.g., allozyme variants, disease resistance traits, etc.), the stocks should be homozygous for the designated alleles. In that way, the samples may be propagated by selfing, sibbing or intercrossing without the necessity for classifying segregating progenies. We anticipate that greater diagnostic capabilities will become available to us in the future.
It is sometimes necessary to discontinue supplying samples of particular listed items because of insufficient seed supply or because of detected pedigree errors. In these cases, we will attempt to substitute stocks with closely similar genotypes.
We expect that during the next several months a support scientist will be employed by the USDA-ARS who will serve as the Curator of the Maize Genetics Cooperation € Stock Center. We hope to select this individual soon.
We recently purchased a Macintosh Quadra 950 computer and plan to use the relational database program, 4th Dimension, to store all information on our genetics stocks. Entering data on the stocks will begin soon. It is anticipated that computerizing the Stock Center's data will enable us to serve you better.
We have been collaborating with Ed Coe's efforts in creating a Maize Genome database. This is part of the Plant Genome database effort being sponsored by the National Agriculture Library. We have plans to tie our stock center database in with the Maize-DB (and therefore also with the Plant Genome-DB and GRIN at NAL) to allow users access to information about available maize genetic stocks. Our hopes are that a user will be able to find a stock of interest using an on-line database and directly request stocks from within the database program. The request will be transmitted electronically through the internet to us.
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