Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2004
Publication Date: November 4, 2004
Citation: Pederson, G.A. 2004. Biosecurity of plant genetic resources: preserving genetic variability. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, Madison, WI. CDROM. Technical Abstract: Plant genetic resources are valuable sources of genetic diversity used in crop improvement programs around the world. Biosecurity of plant genetic resources is usually depicted as improved physical security of seed and vegetative resources in storage. Physical security is improved through card key doors and gates, secure seed storage vaults, limiting access to genetic resource storage sites, personnel security investigations, and backup of material at multiple sites. However, physical security should not be the only goal for effective biosecurity of plant genetic resources. Preservation of genetic variability should be the goal. Genetic variability may be preserved through improved physical security measures, but it is also preserved in other less obvious ways. Genetic variability is preserved through controlled rather than open pollination of cross-pollinated species; reduced regeneration frequency of accessions by keeping seed in -18 C rather than 4 C; removal of redundant and duplicate accessions that dilute financial resources; acquisition of genetic resources from genebanks that are not backed up; and acquisition of accessions from new locations and environments. In this age of improvements in physical security, genebank managers should continue to preserve and expand the genetic variability of their collections as well.