Germplasm transfer has played an integral part in international development and improvement of crop plants. The need for international cooperation in germplasm exchange has never been any greater nor has it faced any greater challenges than it does today. Future supplies of safe and abundant food sources will depend on the continued infusion of germplasm into the plant genetic resources of all countries.
The Crop Science Society of America has a rich history in the support and sponsorship of activities relating to germplasm enhancement and exchange on both domestic and international levels. This publication is a result of two symposia sponsored by the Society at its annual meetings in 1992. The subject matter of these symposia covered the historic perspectives of plant germplasm transfer and the present global activities relating to plant germplasm resources. This publication substantiates the important contributions of international germplasm exchange and the need for its continuation.
Plant breeders and geneticists, crop scientists, and agronomist will find the information shared in this publication to be timely and useful, particularly as we strive to ensure sustained crop productivity. The editor, Ronny R. Duncan, is well-recognized for his contributions in international germplasm activities with sorghum, and the authors of the chapters are leading scientists and educators in their respective disciplines. Together, their backgrounds and expertise are well-suited to sharing the historic perspectives, as well as integrating the most current information available on this complex subject.
The Crop Science Society of America is pleased to jointly sponsor this publication with the American Society of Agronomy. The technical content of this publication should be a beneficial reference to its readers for years to come.
Robert (Bob) C. Shearman, President
Crop Science Society of America
The historical impact of worldwide plant genetic resource movement has dramatically affected mankind for more than 500 years. All countries have plant genetic resource deficiencies, and all have benefitted from an infusion of introduced crop germplasm. The travels of Christopher Columbus and other explorers may have escalated the intercontinental germplasm transfers, but genetic resources were moved prior to the Columbus era, continue to the present, and will continue in the future as long as populations and food requirements increase.
During 1992, two symposia were sponsored by the Crop Science Society of America in the C-8 Plant Genetic Resource division at the annual meetings in Minneapolis, MN. J. McD. Stewart organized one symposium entitled “1492–1992: 500 Years of Global Germplasm Transfer.” Devon Doney organized the second symposium entitled “International Cooperation in Germplasm Activities.” The combined topics of the two symposia provided an overview on the global movement of germplasm, the impact from intercontinental genetic resource transfers, an assessment of problems and current needs that are inherent in global germplasm exchange, philosophical and political ramifications involved in germplasm movement, and information on seven widely grown crops that have global mandates for continuous germplasm exchange. Their Crop Germplasm Committees are truly global in function, operation, and genetic resource exchange, and serve as examples of what can be accomplished as priorities are focused and implemented.
The earliest farmers were active participants in genetic enhancement. More sophisticated tools such as those evolving from the human and plant genome projects and other biotechnology-oriented research efforts should lead to a more efficient and escalated enhancement of genetic resources in the future. Future food sustainability will depend on these improvements. Hopefully, this publication will help to explain the past accomplishments of germplasm exchange and help to reinforce the global needs in the future that will require continued infusion of genetic resources to add value to crops, or to increase or sustain productivity. No country will be by-passed in this need. All will have to cooperate in germplasm exchange to benefit.
I am particularly grateful to the authors for meeting some very strenuously-enforced deadlines after I was appointed editor. I also appreciate their acquiescence to conformity requirements in my effort to provide some continuity among chapters within a section.
This publication should serve as a good foundation for past and present genetic resource exchange achievements. This next era of material transfer agreements and biodiversity ownership (intellectual property) rights should prove to be quite interesting.
Ronny R. Duncan, Editor
University of Georgia
J. B. Bamberg, Project Leader, USDA-ARS, Interregional Potato Introduction Station, NRSP-6, 4312 Hwy. 42, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235- 9620
Harold E. Bockelman, Agronomist, USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210
Glenn W. Burton, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, GA 31793-0748
Karl W. Butzer, Dickson Professor of Liberal Arts, Department of Geography, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-1098
Jeff Dahlberg, Sorghum Curator and Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Tropical Agriculture Research Station, P.O. Box 70, Mayaguez, PR 00681-0070
Devon L. Doney, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS-NCSL, P.O. Box 5677, University Station, 1307 N. 18th Street, Fargo, ND 58105-5677
James A. Duke, Economic Botanist (retired), USDA-ARS, BARC-West, Building 003, Room 227,10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
R. R. Duncan, Professor, Breeding and Stress Physiology, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223-1797
P. N. Fox, Head of International Wheat Nurseries, CIMMYT, Lisboa 27, Apartado Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico D.F., Mexico
Jerome D. Franckowiak, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 5051, Fargo, ND 58105-5051
D. Gonzalez-de-Leon, Head of Applied Molecular Genetics, CIMMYT, Lisboa 27, Apartado Postal 6-641,06600 Mexico D.F., Mexico
Arnel R. Hallauer, Professor of Plant Breeding, Department of Agronomy, 1505 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-0001
R. Hoekstra, CPRO-DLO/CGN, P.O. Box 116,6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
Z. Huaman, International Potato Center, Apartado 5969, Lima, Peru
A. Bruce Maunder, Senior Vice President, Sorghum Research, DEKALB Genetics Corporation, Route 2, Box 56, Lubbock, TX 79415
P. M. Perret, Formerly Crop Network Coordinator at the International Plant Genetic Resource Institute, Rome, Italy. Currently at Les Granges, CH 1468 Cheyres, Switzerland
Gerald J. Seiler, Research Botanist, USDA-ARS-NCSL, P.O. Box 5677, University Station, 1307 N. 18th Street, Fargo, ND 58105-5677
Henry L. Shands, Associate Deputy Administrator, Genetic Resources, USDAARS- NPS, BARC-West, Building 005, Room 115, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
N. W. Simmonds, Professor, University of Edinburgh, School of Agriculture (retired). Currently 9 McLaren Road, Edinburgh, EH9 2BN, Scotland
B. Skovmand, Head of Wheat Genetic Resources, CIMMYT, Lisboa 27, Apartado Postal 6-641,06600 Mexico D.F., Mexico
Calvin R. Sperling, Formerly with USDA-ARS, Plant Exploration Office, BARCWest, Building 003, Room 400, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350. (Dr. Sperling is deceased)
M. Spinks, Plant Genetic Resources Unit, 1109 Experiment Street, Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, GA 30223-1797
Steven E. Ullrich, Professor of Agronomy, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420
G. Varughese, Associate Director of Wheat Program, CIMMYT, Lisboa 27, Apartado Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico D.F., Mexico
Darrell M. Wesenberg, Supervisory Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210
David E. Williams, Botanist, USDA-ARS, Plant Exploration Office, BARC-West, Building 003, Room 400, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350