The National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) is a component of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) of the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). The NSGC is an active germplasm collection (or genebank) that maintains collections representing global diversity of the small grains; including wheat (Triticum), barley (Hordeum), oat (Avena), rice (Oryza), rye (Secale), triticale (X Triticosecale), and various wild relatives (including Aegilops).
The beginnings of the small grains germplasm collections date to about 1897 with the organization of the Seed and Plant Introduction Office. As the result of numerous plant explorations and seed exchanges, the individual collections of the small grains began to accumulate. They were maintained for the first half of the 20th century by Cereal Investigators in the USDA-Bureau of Plant Industry (eventually to become USDA-ARS). The NSGC was officially organized in 1948 at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. It was moved to its present location at Aberdeen in October, 1988.
The NSGC freely distributes seed to scientists worldwide. Passport and evaluation data are maintained on the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) -- seed requests may be placed directly on-line.
Seed available for distribution is a limited resource. The quantity of seed distributed is hopefully sufficient to conduct the intended research. If additional seed is required, the recipient is urged to grow and reproduce the seed. Repeated requests for seed of the same accession will not be honored. Thank you for your understanding.