North America is home to only a few of our major food, feed, and fiber crops. The centers of origin or diversity of most crops important to U.S. agriculture occur on other continents, in countries whose geopolitical ideologies may contrast distinctly with those of our nation. The crops underpinning the U.S. agricultural sector are continually at risk from insects, diseases, and physical stress. The stability of the U.S. food system would be compromised without new sources of resistance to pests and stress, which would be a detriment to domestic consumers and our export customers abroad. Plant introductions, often discovered and collected by plant explorers in the remote and desolate primary and secondary centers of origin of major crops, are a principle lifeline of new genes for pest and stress resistance. Additionally, plant introductions are sources of new genes for nutritional quality, carbohydrate and oil content, fiber characteristics, and adaptation. This volume, the second of a two-part series, chronicles the importance of plant introductions to cultivar development of U.S. crops. In publishing this volume, we commemorate the members of the world community of crop scientists who have devoted their careers to collecting and maintaining plant introductions for the betterment of humankind.
Gary H. Heichel, president Crop Science Society of America
Use of Plant Introductions in Cultivar Development, Part 1 presented review articles on barley, cotton, forage grasses, forage legumes, oat, rice, sorghum, soybean, and wheat from a symposium held during the annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America in October 1989. A second symposium which was held at the CSSA annual meeting at San Antonio, TX in October 1990 included reviews on other crops of importance to U.S. agriculture: bean, food legumes, new crops, peanut, sugarbeet, sugarcane, and sunflower.
The second symposium was to hear and this publication to contain a paper on safflower by retired University of California oil crops breeder, Paul F. Knowles. His fight for life ended before either could occur. His plant collecting and use of plant introductions in transforming the wild, thorny Carthamus plant into a high-quality, productive species is without parallel and his contribution must be recognized as a true success story. This volume is dedicated to his memory with sincere recognition.
Along with the CSSA officers supporting this undertaking to recognize and document the use and value of plant introductions in American agriculture, the name of the Past President, V. L. Lechtenberg, must be added. This publication has been possible because of his support.
The timing of these two CSSA publications coincides with three significant events. First, the provisional C-8 Division on Crop Germplasm has been activated and held its first symposium in Denver, CO in October 1991. Second, the construction of the expanded seed storage and research facilities at the National Seed Storage Laboratory at Fort Collins, CO has been funded and is scheduled for completion in 1992. Third, the 1990 Farm Bill contained authorizing legislation for a National Genetic Resources Program modelled after the National Plant Germplasm System. The stalwart support by the membership and officers of the Crop Science Society of America should be recognized as having been instrumental in bringing about these advancements for plant genetic resources.
While words in the international fora continue to speak of national sovereignty in controlling access to plant genetic resources and difficulties continue on the availability front, CSSA plant germplasm scientists are participating in and contributing to international programs and projects with many developing nations. It is scientistto- scientist interaction that builds trust and understanding between those in developing and developed nations. The proposed Fourth FAO International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources for late 1993 or early 1994 will address the global needs for plant genetic resources by scientists. Hopefully, that conference will bring about a recognition of the resources at risk, the needs, and the required efforts to conserve and protect the genetic resources. Plant germplasm scientists need to bring all their efforts to bear to present the best science to the world.
Henry L. Shands, co-editor, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, Maryland
Loren E. Wiesner, co-editor, USDA-ARS, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado
D. A. Dierig, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, 4331 E. Broadway, Phoenix, AZ 85040
D. A. Dierig, Research Horticulturist, USDA-ARS, Plant Introduction, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164
T. G. Isleib, Associate Professor of Crop Science, Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7629
C. C. Jan, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, Fargo, ND 58105
R. T. Lewellen, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, U .S. Agricultural Research Station, 1636 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905
J. D. Miller, USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Field Station, Star Route Box 8, Canal Point, FL 33438
J. F. Miller, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, Fargo, ND 58105
F. J. Muehlbauer, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6421
G. J. Seiler, Research Botanist, USDA-ARS, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, Fargo, ND 58105
H. L. Shands, National Program Leader for Germplasm, USDA-ARS-NPS, Bldg. 005, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705
M. J. Silbernagel, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS, IAREC, Prosser, WA 99350-9687
P. Y. P. Tai, USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Field Station, Star Route Box 8, Canal Point, FL 33438
A. E. Thompson, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, 4331 E. Broadway, Phoenix, AZ 85840
G. A. White, Agronomist and Plant Introduction Officer, USDA-ARS, Germplasm Services Laboratory, Bldg. 001, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705
L. E. Wiesner, Research Leader, USDA-ARS, National Seed Storage Laboratory, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523
J. C. Wynne, Professor and Head of Crop Science, Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620