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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) base collection
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Variety of seeds.

Seed in the NPGS base collection comes from USDA-ARS-NPGS regional or crop specific field sites.  At the field sites, seeds are dried to ambient conditions and cleaned to remove empty seeds and chaff.  A sample of seed from each accession is retained at the field site for regeneration, multiplication, distribution, characterization and evaluation and comprises an active collection.  The NPGS base collection contains all the inventories of each accession including the original sample and earlier regenerations. This consolidated collection of all of NPGS holdings is stored at the NCGRP in secure freezers at -18°C.  The viability of stored seeds is periodically monitored using standard germination assays.   A fresh sample of seed is obtained if seed supply is too low or germination percent decreases below about 60%.  A fresh inventory usually contains between 1500 and 3000 seeds. 

As of July 1, 2012 the NPGS base collection stored at the NCGRP consisted of:

 Number of samples   564,477
 Number of unique accessions  410,295
 Number of genera  1,410
 Number of species  8,355
 Number of seed accessions  405,375
 Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions  4,964
 Percent of NPGS accessions backed-up  76%
 Percent back-up of vegetatively-propagated accessions   16%




Last Modified: 2/22/2013