Preservation of genetic diversity is the driving factor behind why germplasm repositories exist. The Malus
collection is maintained on a 50-acre farm located one mile north of Geneva. Typically, two trees are maintained for each accession. Some accessions are also stored as cryogenically preserved buds. Over time, more and more of the Malus collection will be stored in this manner, in addition to it being preserved as orchard-grown plants.
"The Big Apple Family": This mp3 file (24 MB) contains an interview with Phillip Forsline by Jean Feraca of Radio Without Borders (hereonearth.org), a live global cultural affairs call-in program at Wisconsin Public Radio. Phil was interviewed for nearly an hour about his work to increase the diversity of apple germplasm in the USDA National Plant Germplasm Collection through his apple collections made to Central Asia, China, Russia and Turkey from 1993-1999 with international teams of scientists. He discussed why these collections are important and what is being done by the Plant Genetic Resources Unit in characterizing that apple germplasm here on site and with multiple collaborators world-wide. He also answered questions about apple germplasm from individuals that called in during the program.
Dr. Chih Cheng "Thomas" Chao - Apple Curator