Plant Import Information
Access to the Screening Program (continued)
The details of the policy are explained below:
- The PGQP crop managers control access to the testing programs for which they are responsible. This is essential because only the PGQP crop managers know the resources available in their testing program and only they are in contact with all of the potential customers. Each potential importer of germplasm must contact the PGQP crop manager responsible for the crop in question and make known their desire to import material. The crop manager will log-in the request, with the date received and number of slots requested. If the annual program capacity has not been reached for that particular crop, steps to acquire the germplasm are begun. This process of acquiring germplasm will continue until capacity for a given testing period is reached. Requests received after the quota is reached will be put on the next year's acquisition list and steps to import the germplasm will be delayed accordingly.
- In the event that high priority request is presented after the program capacity has been reached, the PGQP crop managers may utilize several options to reprioritize the acquisition/testing roster. The scientist will attempt to establish a new roster based on the information gathered by talking with individual clients and a willingness of individuals to postpone their requests and move their requests further down the queue.
If this method fails to resolve the issue or seems inappropriate, the scientist may
Based on this information, the Crop managers will establish the new roster and will advise the clients affected of the changes. As with any APHIS program, final control over the program stays with the management unit, in this case PGQP.
- Consider national issues and policies as set forth by APHIS
- Obtain technical information from the Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC)
- Obtain technical information from the Curator of the germplasm collection
- Seek advice from the PGQP Director.
The Crop Germplasm Committees of the various prohibited genera are composed of scientists with expertise in the genetics of the crop, and the Curators of the various collections in the National Plant Germplasm Repository System have unique knowledge of the diversity of the germplasm held in the collections for which they are responsible. Both the CGCs and the curators are part of the National Plant Germplasm System.
In applying this set of procedures, the PGQP recognizes that contact with the CGCs and curators is critical. Contact should be made at the beginning of the open season period for a crop (which precedes the annual testing period for a crop by several months). If at this time, the CGC has polled its community of members and can provide a prioritized list of the accessions that its members would like to import, those items are first on the list and the first to be served by PGQP in the order suggested by the CGC. In this context, the CGC will be viewed as a single client - although it represents the needs of many scientists. In compiling this list, the CGC will be able to share information and play an important role in coordinating the activities within its community. The curators are also encouraged to submit their importation requests at this time. If the CGC list and requests submitted by curators and other clients outside the auspices of the CGC do not exceed the PGQP crop capacity, no further contact with the CGC or curators will be needed that year.
In the event that capacity is met and a high priority request is received by PGQP, a second contact with the CGC and curator may be needed. To the extent permitted by confidentiality rules, PGQP will provide information to the CGC to allow its input in assessing the priority of the new request(s) in relation to the priorities previously recommended by the CGC for acquiring and testing germplasm. This technical information will be used by PGQP along with input from other sources (see above) to establish the new roster.
To assist the CGCs with timely input, PGQP will provide them the following information:
- the PGQP's capacity for a crop for the pending year
- the 'open season' dates for the various PGQP programs (the earliest and latest dates by which the CGC for each crop must have its prioritized request list to PGQP);
- the dates when the green and yellow labels will be sent to the shippers;
- the dates that the germplasm must reach PGQP to be processed in a timely manner.
The 'green and gold' shipping labels (bearing PGQP's permit number) for importation of the germplasm will be sent by the PGQP crop manager to the donor (not the importer) of the germplasm to allow its timely arrival. Detailed shipping instructions will be provided to the donor along with the label. No shipment will be accepted by PGQP if it lacks the green and gold label with the appropriate permit number.
The PGQP also operates a tissue culture program in support of its testing program. Accessions of potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugarcane as well as some soft fruit accessions are maintained in vitro. This prevents loss of accessions during testing, and provides some flexibility in accommodating demand for services. As an additional service to the germplasm community, PGQP operates a therapy program for some types of germplasm. Potatoes and sweet potatoes that are found to be infected by pathogens are submitted to the therapy program in vitro, and then re-tested to be sure that only germplasm that does not contain detectable levels of a pathogen are distributed. This program has been expanded this year to include pome fruits. In vitro and in vivo therapy programs are now in operation for these genera as well.
January 11, 2007