W408 A description of Forage Grass and Clover Genetic Resources at Aberystwyth University

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Time: 11:40 AM
Room: Pacific Salon 6-7 (2nd Floor)
Ianto Thomas , IBERS, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University maintains a documented collection of over 25 000 seed samples of temperate forage and amenity grasses (Lolium, Festuca, Dactylis, Phleum, Poa, Agrostis, Brachypodium, etc) and clover (Trifolium etc) species. The variation contained in this collection is an important resource for breeding and for a wide variety of research programmes. Many of the accessions have been obtained by exchange with other institutes throughout the world, but the value of these samples is often compromised by a lack of associated information. Targeted collection expeditions have therefore been undertaken by the institute throughout Europe over the last 40 years, so that the fullest eco-geographical site data could be associated with collected populations. Early collections were primarily breeder-led and directed at acquiring elite populations for inclusion in breeding programmes eg. Italy 1974. More recent expeditions have aimed at identifying a wider range of ecotypes and have targeted a more diverse range of habitats, managements and climatic zones eg. Italy 1998. Vegetative plants have often been collected and seed can then be produced under quarantine in isolation units at the institute. The seeds are maintained in medium (25 years) and long term storage (100+ years) and are fully described in a computerised documentation system AGRIS. This is also integrated with the UK Plant Genetic Resources Information System, the European Central Crop Databases and Eurisco so that both data and seed can be accessed by interested researchers.