Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 5, 2004
Publication Date: November 19, 2004
Citation: Ayala Silva, T., Schnell II, R.J., Meerow, A.W., Goenaga, R.J., Zee, F.T. 2004. Current Status of the Subtropical and Tropical Germplasm Repositories of the National Plant Germplasm System. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 117:182-187. Interpretive Summary: The National Plant Germplasm system (NPGS) is a network of organizations and people dedicated to preserving the genetic diversity of crops plants. The system consists of 26 repositories of which 18 are clonal repositories. The national system collects germplasm (plants, seeds) from all over the world, including the United States. Under the system, NPGS coordinates and collaborates with research and private institutions in field collection, post-entry quarantine, conservation, regeneration, documentation, dissemination and international cooperation. These three subtropical and tropical clonal germplasm repositories maintain approximately 6200 accessions and distribute approximately 1000 accessions per year. These repositories are of unique importance to the NPGS because the ability to maintain tropical/subtropical germplasm in the U.S. is limited to these repositories.
Technical Abstract: Germplasm collections are viewed as a source of genetic diversity to support crop improvement and botanical research, as well as conservation efforts. The United States Department of Agriculture's National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is responsible for managing plant genetic resources in the USA. This paper examines the benefits generated by the genetic resources held by the three subtropical and tropical clonal germplasm repositories that are part of the NPGS. They are the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, FL (4,744 accessions), the Tropical Agriculture Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez, PR (715 accessions), and the Tropical Plant Genetic Resource Management Unit (PGRMU) in Hilo, HI (675 accessions). The NPGS research programs are dedicated to answering questions that help curators conserve and manage genetic resources in a more effective and cost-efficient manner. In addition, the research on preserving these collections, the cost of maintenance and the procedures for distributing germplasm are discussed here.