Dr. Gayle Volk

Dr. Gayle Volk is currently performing the duties of the USDA-ARS National Program Leader for the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) as a detail. Her research program has addressed conservation needs for vegetatively propagated crops and crop wild relatives (fruits, nuts, and some vegetables) in the NPGS at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP) in Fort Collins, Colorado since 1999. She identifies strategies to acquire and maintain genetic resources in diverse vegetatively propagated collections and provides decision-support tools to evaluate the breadth and depth of collection diversity. She develops widely applicable and cost-effective methods to cryopreserve clonally-derived germplasm (such as citrus, grapes, Prunus, garlic, small fruits, apple and many others) and then uses these methods to cryopreserve NPGS collections as dormant buds and shoot tips. Recently, she has been developing cryotherapy methods to eradicate pathogens from plant tissues. Dr. Volk also co-leads the NPGS effort to develop online materials for plant genetic resources conservation and use through the GRIN-U.org website.