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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RESEARCH, ACQUISITION, MANAGEMENT, AND DOCUMENTATION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing

Title: The U. S. National Plant Germplasm System: preserving plant genetic resources

Author
item Hu, Jinguo

Submitted to: Plant Germplasm International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 2009
Publication Date: June 25, 2009
Citation: Hu, J. 2009. The U. S. National Plant Germplasm System: preserving plant genetic resources. Proceedings of The International symposium on Seed Science & Technology and Seed Industry Development, June 26-28,2009 Kunming, China. Pp. 25-26.

Interpretive Summary: Being one of the world’s largest national genebank networks, the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) focuses on preserving the genetic diversity of crop plants and their wild relatives. The documented history of official plant introduction can be traced back to 1898 when USDA created its Section of Seed and assigned the first PI (Plant Introduction) number PI1 to a cabbage accession collected from Russia. Today, the U. S. NPGS comprises four major regional plant introduction stations and 20-plus crop specific repositories each with similar activities of acquiring, preserving, regenerating, evaluating, charactering and distributing germplasm of assigned species. Up to date, the U. S. NPGS holds over 500,000 accessions belonging to more than 13,000 plant species. These accessions are either stored in seed form in long-term and short-term storage facilities or preserved in live form in repositories. Substantial portion of these accessions have been evaluated for important economic and agronomic/horticultural traits. The U. S. NPGS has distributed approximately three million samples to researchers and educators worldwide free of charge. These available genetic resources of the U. S. NPGS provide plant breeders with desirable alleles to improve yield, quality, stress tolerance and disease resistance and will play an important role in sustaining and improving crop productivity that supplies food, fuel, fiber and other industrial materials to the growing world population in the future.

Technical Abstract: Being one of the world’s largest national genebank networks, the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) focuses on preserving the genetic diversity of crop plants and their wild relatives. The documented history of official plant introduction can be traced back to 1898 when USDA created its Section of Seed and assigned the first PI (Plant Introduction) number PI1 to a cabbage accession collected from Russia. Today, the U. S. NPGS comprises four major regional plant introduction stations and 20-plus crop specific repositories each with similar activities of acquiring, preserving, regenerating, evaluating, charactering and distributing germplasm of assigned species. Up to date, the U. S. NPGS holds over 500,000 accessions belonging to more than 13,000 plant species. These accessions are either stored in seed form in long-term and short-term storage facilities or preserved in live form in repositories. Substantial portion of these accessions have been evaluated for important economic and agronomic/horticultural traits. The U. S. NPGS has distributed approximately three million samples to researchers and educators worldwide free of charge. The available genetic resources of the U. S. NPGS provide plant breeders with desirable alleles to improve yield, quality, stress tolerance and disease resistance and will play an important role in sustaining and improving crop productivity that supplies food, fuel, fiber and other industrial materials to the growing world population in the future.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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