Vegetable Breeding Working Group (VGBR)

VGBR is part of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS)

Minutes (2009 meeting)

  • Vegetable Breeding Working Group Business Meeting
  • American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference
  • Millennium Hotel St. Louis, MO
  • 28 July 2009

Attendance. Allan Brown, Kevin Crosby, Angela Davis, Jeremy Edwards, John (Jack) Juvik, Beiquan Mou, Dilip Panthee, Soon O. Park, John (Jay) Scott, Ann Marie Thro, Stephanie Walker, Yiqun Weng, Linda Wessel-Beaver.

General Business. Kevin Crosby (chair) opened the meeting with the call for approval of minutes from the 2008 Vegetable Breeding Working group business meeting minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Plant breeding coordinating committee. Linda Wessel-Beaver gave an update on the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (PBCC) meetings. The PBCC is a Hatch project that serves as a forum to address national issues relating to plant breeding.  The second PBCC meeting was held in Des Moines, Iowa on June 16-18, 2008. Linda encouraged participation of VGBR members in the PBCC. The third meeting will be held on August 3-5, 2009 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

New business. Kevin Crosby discussed new opportunities to obtain funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiatives (SCRI) and encouraged breeders to apply. Jay Scott reminded the group that proposals must be from multi-state groups to be funded. Linda Wessel-Beaver stressed the need to write in a grant manager into the proposal budget.

Kevin recognized that there were no industry members present that the current VGBR meeting, probably because of tough economic times. However there have been many industry vegetable breeding positions advertized recently and Kevin suggested that we encourage students to think about opportunities to work in the industry.

Kevin asked for reports on new variety releases since the last meeting. Dilip Panthee reported the release of the Plum Regal and Mountain Magic tomato varieties from NC State. Kevin made the suggestion that, as a group we keep track of new vegetable variety releases. Jay pointed out that we also need to make efforts to get information on variety releases from industry.

Ann Marie Thro asked the group to be sure to list all funding sources, including hatch funds on publications. She also asked the group to list any PI germplasm that was used. This helps to show output and impact from USDA funding.

Workshop topics. Possible topics were discussed for a VBWG sponsored colloquium or workshop for next year’s ASHS annual meeting. Topics considered were (1) breeding for traits such as disease resistance, quality, and abiotic stress (2) challenges and strategies of public breeding in a F1 hybrid world, and (3) how to effectively work with molecular tools and genomic sequencing data in breeding programs. It was decided to tentatively pursue topic #1as a first option with a narrowed focus on stress tolerance and breeding for abiotic stress. The potential to partner with other ASHS working groups to propose a colloquium was also discussed.

Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence. The recipient of the 2009 Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence was Dr. Molly Jahn. Dr. Jahn is currently the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Jahn was previously a professor of plant breeding and genetics and plant biology at Cornell University where her research focused on breeding new vegetable varieties for use around the world and on gene discovery in crop plants. Dr. Jahn could not attend, but she sent her thanks and appreciation to the group for the honor. The group discussed the possibility of wider advertisement of this award within ASHS, perhaps on a poster in the main meeting area.

Election of secretary. Dilip Panthee of NC State University was nominated to be the new secretary of the working group. The members present unanimously voted to elect Dilip to this position.

Prepared by Secretary Beiquan Mou.

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