Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) maintains several large "seed banks" throughout the U.S., including a "Fort Knox of Seeds", the National Seed Storage Lab in Colorado. New molecular techniques, similar to ones used in recent court cases involving identification of human blood samples, are allowing seed bank managers to monitor the identity of individuals in their banks. When two, or more, are found to be genetically identical, only one needs to be banked, thus saving precious resources.
Technical Abstract: Managing large collections more effectively has become possible through utilization of new technologies. Applying molecular tools to characterization and identification will help assure genetic integrity. Application of seed drying protocols developed from extensive research will improve long-term seed quality and longevity.