Collaboration between USDA-ARS Hop Breeding Program and CPCNW
Traditionally, the hop clean plant program in Prosser, Washington receives breeding lines that show promising traits and are entering phase-two or phase-three trials before being made publicly available. That way, there is clean planting stock available when the variety, like the recent USDA-ARS releases ‘Triumph’ and ‘Vista’, are made commercially available to propagators across the country. But hop viruses and viroid infection affects the growth and development of the bine, and most importantly, the mass and chemical composition of the hop cones. Infected hops may lead to skewed interpretations of a line’s traits, as well as performance in breeding and development.
Therefore, the CPCNW and the USDA-ARS hop breeding program have a cooperative agreement in place to study the parental lines used by the latter, determining infection status, and cleaning up high-priority lines for use in breeding crosses. This collaboration also provides the opportunity to examine transmission of viruses through pollen and seed in hops, to better understand how these pathogens become common around the world.