Improving coordination of npgs sites in determining legitimacy of germplasm requests
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Improving Coordination of NPGS Sites in Determining Legitimacy of Germplasm Requests. 2009 PGOC Subcommittee: Gary Pederson Joseph Postman Quinn Sinnott Susan Stieve Mark Widrlechner. NPGS Goal. Ensure germplasm is being distributed to: S cientists Educators

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Improving Coordination of NPGS Sites in Determining Legitimacy of Germplasm Requests

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Improving coordination of npgs sites in determining legitimacy of germplasm requests

Improving Coordination of NPGS Sites in Determining Legitimacy of Germplasm Requests

2009 PGOC Subcommittee:

Gary Pederson

Joseph Postman

Quinn Sinnott

Susan Stieve

Mark Widrlechner


Npgs goal

NPGS Goal

  • Ensure germplasm is being distributed to:

    • Scientists

    • Educators

    • Other bona fide users such as seed-saver organizations, public gardens, others


The issue

The Issue

  • Requests from individuals seeking free germplasm for home use

    • are increasingly promoted on the internet

    • at times overwhelm site distribution systems

    • are an inappropriate use of limited resources

    • distribution conflicts with USG policy of not competing with commercial enterprises

  • Ultimately, Curator and/or Research Leader will determine the legitimacy of a request in accordance with NPGS Distribution Policy, approved by PGOC June 2006


The issue scope of the problem

The IssueScope of the problem

  • Difficult to determine, orders entered in various ways:

    • S9 “IO”, “Shipped”, zero items added

    • W6 “DI”, “Cancel”

    • NC7 “DI”, “Cancel”, all items added

    • NE9 local Excel file

  • OPGC requests determined to be non-legitimate

    • 200882 out of 140 orders (59%)

    • 200974 out of 126 orders (59%)

  • Mark Millard, others with statistics?


Determining legitimacy of requests

Determining Legitimacy of Requests

  • How do we determine who is a legitimate requester?

    • Jasper TX: 30 “different” requesters since 2005

    • 42 orders, 268 items

    • NC7 stopped distributions in 2005, still being discussed by curators in 2009

  • What’s the problem?


The issue1

The Issue

  • Distribution policies and procedures vary by site:

    • Some sites send to most requesters

      • Easier, but can be time consuming if many orders

      • Increases distribution numbers

    • Some sites are more discerning

      • Can be difficult to identify problem requesters, especially if all sites aren’t adding order information to GRIN

      • Time consuming and inefficient, 2 or more curators trying to contact same requester

  • Inconsistent responses from sites, or even curators within a site, to non-legitimate requesters lead to confusion, repeated ordering

    • Might receive germplasm from 2 sites, declined by 3


Determining legitimacy of requests npgs website orders

Determining Legitimacy of RequestsNPGS Website Orders

  • Quinn’s initial determination

  • Intended use of home gardening

    The National Plant Germplasm System's mission is preserving genetic

    resources of crop plants and making them available for research purposes.

    Many of the samples are wild relatives and landraces of crops and thus are

    not suitable for use as is. These raw materials are used in breeding

    programs to add specific traits to an existing variety rather than being

    grown as a crop.

    Non-researchers are encouraged to acquire ready-to-plant garden varieties

    from a commercial source or other public source (e.g. garden club). Some

    sites to inquire at are:

    http://www.seedsavers.org/ for heirloom varieties or

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=18178 specifically for

    fruit and nut collections.


Determining legitimacy of requests site level

Determining Legitimacy of RequestsSite Level

  • Distribution request sent to site

    • Either to distribution supervisor or directly to curator

    • Curator evaluates

      • Can they pass the test “Do they need NPGS accessions or would commercially available cultivars suffice”?

        • Yes-forward for distribution

        • No-send one of 4 standardized responses to requester via e-mail or U.S. mail

          • Intended use is home gardening or similar

          • Need more information about intended research, affiliation; cancel order in 2 weeks if no response

          • Send one-time distribution

          • Follow up if a one-time distribution previously sent

            My thanks to NC7 for sharing their policies and procedures

            More examples of letter texts will be available online at workshop website


Determining legitimacy of requests site level1

Determining Legitimacy of RequestsSite Level

  • Distribution request sent to site

    • Either to distribution supervisor or directly to curator

    • Curator evaluates

      • Can they pass the test “Do they need NPGS accessions or would commercially available cultivars suffice”?

        • Yes-forward for distribution

        • No-send one of 4 standardized responses to requester via e-mail or U.S. mail

          • Intended use is home gardening or similar

          • Need more information about intended research, affiliation; cancel order in 2 weeks if no response

          • Send one-time distribution

          • Follow up if a one-time distribution previously sent

            My thanks to NC7 for sharing their policies and procedures

            More examples of letter texts will be available online at workshop website


Home gardener response opgc nc7 ne9 w6 other sites

Home Gardener ResponseOPGC (NC7, NE9, W6, other sites?)

Dear ,

Thank you for your interest in our germplasm collection. The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is a cooperative research organization and our germplasm collection, evaluation, and distribution systems are designed to serve research objectives. It is the policy of the NPGS to provide available materials in small quantities for research and education purposes, not for home gardening use. Thus, we cannot fulfill your request for germplasm from our site at this time.

Because one of our goals is to maintain genetic diversity as a resource for the floriculture industry, many of our accessions are wild or landrace types having great variation. As a result, the plants, flowers, fruits, and seeds that grow from our accessions may not all look alike and may not be ornamental or marketable. Additionally, many of our accessions are not adapted to the United States and may require special handling to flower and produce seed. Standard easy-to-grow types are available from commercial sources, some of which can be found at:

http://plantinfo.umn.edu/default.asp

Please note that this information does not constitute an endorsement of any product or supplier by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Ohio State University or cooperating agencies.

Sincerely,


Solutions

Solutions

  • Improve NPGS website

    • Shopping cart and order form have been improved so that all fields are required before order will be accepted (telephone, e-mail, address, etc.)

      • Let Quinn know of any problems

      • Currently accepted if “none” entered

    • Have a drop down box so requester can self-identify affiliation/intended use

      • Gardening

      • Education

      • Public research

      • Private research


Solutions1

Solutions

  • Stronger statement needed on NPGS website

  • “The National Plant Germplasm System provides germplasm to support research and education objectives. Due to the intensive effort and resources required to ensure availability of germplasm for this purpose we are unable to distribute it for home gardening or other purposes that can utilize readily available commercial cultivars”

  • Even stronger language?

  • Larger font size possible?

  • Approval required?


Solutions2

Solutions

  • Improve NPGS website

    • Add a pop up comment that requesters must acknowledge when clonal germplasm is requested


Solutions3

Solutions

  • Improve GRIN/GRIN Global

    • Improve order processing efficiency

      • Require cooperators to register as users and manage their own cooperator contact and shipping information


Solutions4

Solutions

  • Improve GRIN/GRIN Global

    • Make non-research requester identification more efficient in GRIN; currently varies by site

      • Add “NR” as new distribution type


Solutions5

Solutions

  • Improve GRIN/GRIN Global

    • Improve communication between sites

      • More uniform use of GRIN at sites

        • Use GRIN to maintain lists of cooperators requesting germplasm, whether legitimate or not

        • Input non-research requests into GRIN

        • Note in comment section of orders how the order was handled

          • e-mailed Home Gardener letter, date

        • Denote non-legitimate requests with “NR” distribution type in Order Header form

      • May be more realistic with GRIN Global, particularly for clonal sites

      • Would allow for more efficient identification of non-legitimate requesters at all sites

      • Possible?


Solutions6

Solutions

  • Improve communication-good example


Discussion

Discussion

  • Is it possible to develop a more uniform, consistent policy and response to non-legitimate requests?

  • Suggestions for NPGS or GRIN website improvements

  • Is current wording of communication acceptable?

  • Possible to stop requests before they start by designating someone to respond to websites promoting free seeds?

  • Other issues with determinations of eligibility and denial of requests

  • Others interested in joining the committee?


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