Submitted to: International Plant Propagators Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 29, 2009
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P. 2009. Ornamental Plants and the US National Plant Germplasm System: Conserving, Evaluating, Seeking, and Sharing. International Plant Propagators Proceedings. 58:213-217. Technical Abstract: This report presents an overview of the US National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) for an audience of plant propagators from the nursery industry, academia, and public gardens. It describes the active sites that conserve germplasm of interest to propagators and how those sites conserve their germplasm collections. Three different classes of documentation that can accompany germplasm collections -- passport data, characterization data, and evaluation data -- are described. Efforts by the NPGS to build its collections through exploration and exchange are then discussed. Finally, various ways that NPGS collections can support research and development conducted by propagators and their employers are examined. These include: the selection and breeding of new varieties of ornamentals; the reintroduction of useful species or cultivars that have been lost from commerce but conserved in NPGS collections; sources of foundation stock in cases where there is confusion over the true identity of a cultivar in the trade; and the use of collections in experiments where it is important to be able to repeat the results over time.