It Takes Teamwork...
ARS Botanist Karen Williams and Pedro Juan Cavallero record data on a wild pepper found near a Toba tribal settlement in Paraguay.
Germplasm collected on USDA-backed explorations is placed in the national Plant Germplasm System. There it's freely available to breeders and other researchers.
For example, Paraguay doesn't have modern facilities to store its pepper germplasm collections. ARS has offered to provide long-term storage on Paraguay's behalf. Germplasm samples will be sent to the Paraguayans upon request. This arrangement also helps preserve the germplasm, no matter what environmental or agricultural changes take place in the Paraguayan plant's native habitat.
ARS also is helping train Paraguayan scientists like Pedro Juan Cavallero how to use, handle and preserve requested plant materials. Studies also are underway to conserve wild peppers, other crop relatives and their natural habitats. Other ARS-Paraguayan teamwork includes tracking the plant's geographic distribution and creating protected areas where they can safely grow.