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[nafex] FW: Pomegranates in Unique California Collection

From: "ARS News Service" <isnv@ars-grin.gov>
To: "ARS News List" <ars-news@ars-grin.gov>
Subject: Pomegranates in Unique California Collection
Date: Tue, Oct 16, 2001, 6:36 AM

Pomegranates of the World Housed in Unique California Collection


ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Marcia Wood, (510) 559-6070, MarciaWood@ars.usda.gov
October 16, 2001

The pomegranate's crunchy seeds, covered with a slippery, sweet-tart pulp,
make this fruit unusual and fun to eat. Pomegranate is good for you, too.
It's low in calories and sodium, and provides potassium and vitamin C.

America's official genebank for different kinds of pomegranate from around
the globe is located at Davis, Calif., northeast of San Francisco.
Agricultural Research Service horticulturist Charles J. Simon, curator of
the collection, says the genebank has what is almost certainly the most
diverse assortment of pomegranates in the United States.

Simon credits George A. White of Beltsville, Md., a former curator at the
Davis genebank, for expanding the pomegranate collection. White built it
from a modest 10 specimens, called accessions, toward its current total of
145 by acquiring pomegranates from hobbyists and others. He gathered
additional specimens by trekking to Turkmenistan, in the former Soviet
Union, on a plant-collecting expedition with pomologist Dan E. Parfitt of
the University of California at Davis.

Pomegranate fruit vary in size from smaller than a baseball up to a
medium-sized cantaloupe, according to Simon. The rind, or exterior, comes in
an assortment of colors, including yellow or deep-orange to nearly red.
Inside, the little sack of pulp around each seed can range from nearly
colorless through yellow and orange to almost beet-red.

The Davis genebank where Simon works is called the ARS National Clonal
Germplasm Repository for Fruit and Nut Crops
(www.ars-grin.gov/ars/PacWest/Davis). Simon and his staff are responsible
for collecting and safeguarding a genetically diverse assortment of
pomegranates as well as more than a dozen other crops. The genebank is part
of a nationwide system of plant repositories managed by ARS, the chief
scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: isjd@ars-grin.gov.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504-1617, fax 504-1648.

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