A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands



This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.

The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.

SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).




PAPGREN coordination and support

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Genetic techniques to speed tree improvement
    Glenn Howe & David Stauth

    From : Bend Weekly News

    Corvallis - A new move toward “marker based breeding” with economically important forest tree species is expected to improve and speed up the identification of trees with desirable traits – to achieve faster growth, drought resistance, wood quality or other useful characteristics.
    Forestry scientists at Oregon State University will collaborate with other leading forest research institutions around the nation on this project, which is being partly funded by a recent $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The crux of the problem, experts say, is that trees take a very long time to grow, and conventional breeding with them is logistically complex, time consuming and expensive. The same types of cross-breeding and genetic advances that have been possible with many agricultural crops take much longer with conifer trees – it might take decades to learn if a particular tree or cross has any special value or not.
    “We’re really in just the second or third generation of breeding with a critical species like Douglas-fir,” said Glenn Howe, an associate professor of forest genetics at OSU. “We’ve made progress, probably a 25 percent increase in volume of wood produced, and that’s good. But there’s a great deal more we could do and we think that genetic markers will help us reach those goals more quickly and efficiently.”
    The idea, Howe said, is to better understand exactly what individual genes and their “alleles,” or different forms, are responsible for – what tree characteristics they control. Conceptually, it’s a little like the human genome project, in which an understanding of the genome helps medical researchers understand the diseases associated with certain genes. In plants, once genes have been mapped and their functions are understood, it should be possible to better select or combine the alleles that are responsible for desirable traits.
    These programs, researchers say, do not involve genetic engineering, which is the intentional change of genetic structure or introduction of novel genes into plants, and an approach that has also met significant public resistance and regulatory hurdles.
    The new type of “association genetics” resembles traditional crop selection and breeding, but with a more detailed understanding of what genes are involved and what they are doing. It’s like having a good road map, instead of driving aimlessly for 20 years until you happen across what you’re looking for.
    In a recently formed “Conifer Translational Genomics Network,” led by the University of California at Davis, OSU will do most of the studies on Douglas-fir, while scientists elsewhere in the nation study other important species such as loblolly pine and slash pine. Collectively, these are the backbone of a $50 billion forest products industry in the United States, and part of a global forestry enterprise estimated to be worth more than $350 billion a year. The value of tree products equals or exceeds that of every other U.S. crop, while healthy forests perform countless other environmental and ecological functions as well.
    “Fast growth and disease resistance is part of what we’ll be looking for, but in modern forestry a lot of the current interest is also in wood quality, things like density or stiffness,” Howe said. “Certain other characteristics might have value if wood is to be used for producing biofuels. And with the advent of climate change, we need to know more about which trees could adapt to changing conditions, such as temperature changes and drought.”
    Conifers actually have a very complex genome with a wide range of genetic variation, experts say, and should lend themselves well to this effort. Much of what is learned by focusing on the three conifer species of particular interest in the U.S. should also have value in other important conifers grown around the world.
    The national push in this field, Howe said, aims to have genetic markers incorporated into tree breeding programs within five years. The work will also have major educational and Extension components so that the findings can be spread to the tree breeding and forest products industry, which uses 1.3 billion seedlings every year to get the forests of the future off to a healthy start.
    In related work, OSU will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, University of Georgia and other universities to sequence thousands of genes from a diverse collection of conifers, including Douglas-fir.
    OSU is also participating in a new “Center for Advanced Forestry Systems” that is being organized by North Carolina State University under the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Program. The center will develop projects ranging from ecology and biotechnology to remote sensing and improved silviculture.
    Taken together, these three new projects will contribute substantially to genomics research on Douglas-fir and its application to tree breeding and forest genetics in the Pacific Northwest.
    In all these efforts, students will be educated in the newest technologies, genetic techniques and other forestry innovations.
    Expanded forests, improvements in forest health and more efficient breeding of tree species could also allow for greater carbon sequestration and reduction in greenhouse gases, experts say.

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