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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Abstract of Sytematic Collections of the ARS


Lichtenfels, J.R., J.H. Kirkbride, Jr., and D.J. Chitwood, eds. 1998. Systematic Collections of the Agricultural Research Service, revised. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Miscellaneous Publication No. 1343, 77 pp.

The survival of humanity and the other organisms with which we share this planet depends on a detailed knowledge of numerous plant and animal species, varieties, breeds, cultivars, or strains exploited for food or fiber. This knowledge requires well-organized collections of reference specimens, which can be stored and retrieved as sources of information. Many such collections are included in the systematic collections of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This report describes in detail 12 systematic collections under the care of various ARS laboratories. Information is provided on the purpose, history, location, size, major achievements, and associated research programs and other provided services such as loans or identification of specimens. Many other ARS scientists curate smaller, specialized collections for their own research. Computerized databases have been developed for most of the collections. Information from some of the collections is available on the World Wide Web, and specimen records of some collections can be accessed online.

The audience for this publication includes researchers, teachers, students, and administrators concerned with the study and care of plants and animals and the broad range of living organisms that affect them by affecting the agricultural environment.

Keywords: collections, fungi, germplasm, grasses, grasshoppers, herbarium, insects, legumes, nematodes, parasites, potatoes, Rhizobium, seeds, species identification, systematics, taxonomy

While supplies last, single copies of this publication may be obtained at no cost from the curators of the individual collections (names, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail and mailing addresses provided on the first page of each collection's section in this publication).

Copies of this publication may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161; telephone (703) 605-6000.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Revised August 1998. Supersedes Miscellaneous Publication No. 1343, Systematic Collections of the Agricultural Research Service, May 1977.

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Last Modified: 2/6/2002