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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fruit and Nut Genebanks in the Us National Plant Germplasm System

Authors
item Postman, Joseph
item Hummer, Kim
item Stover, Ed
item Krueger, Robert
item Forsline, Philip
item Grauke, Larry
item Zee, Francis
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas
item Irish, Brian

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2006
Publication Date: August 20, 2006
Citation: Postman, J.D., Hummer, K.E., Stover, E.W., Krueger, R., Forsline, P.L., Grauke, L.J., Zee, F.T., Ayala Silva, T., Irish, B.M. 2006. Fruit and nut genebanks in the us national plant germplasm system. HortScience. 41(5):1188-1194.

Interpretive Summary: The year 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), repositories devoted to clonally propagated, horticultural fruit and nut crops. During this quarter century, facilities in Hilo, Hawaii, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Miami, Florida, and Riverside, California, were developed to preserve collections of tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas, Corvallis, Oregon, Davis, California, and Geneva, NewYork, preserve fruit crops from temperate regions. Each of these facilities represents world diversity for their assigned genera. Germplasm of unique varieties are maintained as growing plants, and are evaluated for useful traits. The plants and seeds are documented in a national public germplasm database, and seeds or cuttings are freely distributed to researchers around the world. Seed collections represent wild populations of some crop relatives. These eight genebanks maintain 30,000 accessions representing 1,600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. The genebanks distribute more than 15,000 plant and seed samples annually. While originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, NPGS genebanks have also become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for educating the public. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.

Technical Abstract: The year 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), repositories devoted to clonally propagated, horticultural fruit and nut crops. During this quarter century, facilities in Hilo, Hawaii, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Miami, Fla., and Riverside, Calif., were developed to preserve collections of tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas, Corvallis, Ore., Davis, Calif., and Geneva, N.Y., preserve the temperate crops. Each of these facilities now has internationally recognized globally diverse collections of genetic resources for their assigned genera. Germplasm of unique genotypes are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits, documented in a national public germplasm database, and freely distributed as clonal propagules to researchers and other germplasm users around the world. Seed collections represent wild populations for some crop relatives. These eight genebanks maintain 30,000 accessions representing 1,600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. The genebanks distribute more than 15,000 accessions annually to international researchers. While originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, NPGS genebanks have also become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for educating the public. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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