CONSERVATION, CHARACTERIZATION, AND EVALUATION OF CROP GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED INFORMATION
Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit
Title: Establishing Germination Testing as a Priority in a Genebank
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2009
Publication Date: August 31, 2009
Citation: Pederson, G.A., Pinnow, D.L., Spinks, M. 2009. Establishing Germination Testing as a Priority in a Genebank. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts.
In 2002, the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU), Griffin, GA, established a program to test the germination of plant genetic resources maintained in the on-site collection. Prior to this date, regeneration priorities were based on seed age and quantity of seed available for distribution, with little local evaluation of seed quality. The objective of this paper is to present the development of a germination testing program for a diverse plant genetic resources collection of over 88,000 accessions and 1,500 species, establishment of germination testing methods, and determination of priorities and procedures to effectively characterize seed quality of this collection. Germination testing followed standard procedures developed by the Association of Official Seed Analysts for major crop species and/or the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources Handbook of Seed Technology for Genebanks. Where existing standardized germination protocols did not exist for particular species, cooperators at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Ft. Collins, CO, and curators for minor crops and wild relatives were consulted for appropriate methods. Germination testing priorities were 1) recently-regenerated seeds; 2) crop accessions with no previous test; 3) wild relative accessions with no previous test; 4) accessions tested over 5 years ago; and 5) inventories with no previous test. In some cases, accessions were selected for testing when the seed sample was being handled for other reasons such as distribution, characterization study, or back up sample. Germination tests were conducted on 10 to 100 seeds depending on the total number of seeds available for the accession. Test results were entered into GRIN to help curators determine regeneration priorities.