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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Germplasm Acquisition


Germplasm of tree fruit and nut crops and grapes is acquired through: (1) government-sponsored explorations in the centers of diversity of crops; (2) foreign and domestic inter-institutional exchange of germplasm; (3) contribution from university researchers, plant breeders, botanical gardens, arboreta, private collectors and hobbyists.  Acquisitions may be in the form of cuttings, budwood, or seeds and all international germplasm accessions pass through the National Plant Germplasm Quarantine Center in South San Francisco, California, where they are tested for diseases and pests before they are released to the repository.


Germplasm Preservation 

Germplasm is preserved through clonal propagation of accessions.  Cultivars and species suitable for propagation by cuttings are rooted on mist beds and/or heat pads in greenhouses.  Rooted plants are maintained in screenhouses or are transferred to the field collection.



Other accessions are propagated through grafting/budding onto suitable rootstocks.  Grafted material is also kept in a greenhouse until the graft union has healed and the plant is large enough to be moved to a lathhouse.  After about two years in the lathhouse, accessions are planted in the field where they are maintained and harvested for germplasm.  Copies of grape, grape relatives and Prunus are also kept in a permanent collection in screenhouses.


Germplasm Distribution Policies & Procedures


Almost all plant material from the Davis gene bank is distributed as cuttings and deadlines for orders are those appropriate for such cuttings.  These cuttings must be rooted or grafted/budded to produce a plant.  Material of Juglans, Pistacia, Diospyros and most Prunus are very difficult to root and the recipient must obtain appropriate rootstocks prior to receipt of scion cuttings.


We receive some requests for seed.  Appropriate timing for requests of seed vary greatly between collections and requesters should allow considerable lead time.   Recipients should be aware that most Davis-NCGR accessions are outcrossing and seed from requested accessions will have a known female parent but likely have very diverse male parents.  Davis-NCGR Pistacia plantings are not managed for seed production and requesters should expect that few seed will be available in this genus.



Orders are sent Priority Overnight by UPS or Fed-ex. A packing list and certificate of quarantine compliance are shipped with the plant material when required.  We ask that the receipent obtain and submit a Fed Ex or UPS account number to assist with the shipping cost.  Fed Ex account numbers may be obtained online at UPS account numbers may be online at

International Requests

NCGR distributes germplasm to international requesters in compliance with federal quarantine regulations and restrictions of the United States and the recipient country. The requester MUST provide an import permit (IP), when required, with an English translation before the material will be collected for distribution. If possible, the IP should be open dated. This assists us in resending material that did not survive original shipment. Our USDA plant inspector can provide the phytosanitary certification only after we have received the required IP from the requesting country. Whenever possible, please send or FAX a copy of the IP with the original plant request.

Distribution Priorities

We ask that a statement concerning the intended use for the germplasm be provided by the requester. Timely, seasonal requests, from bona fide researchers are given first priority. Requesters seeking plant material for a germplasm exchange or because NCGR is the sole source are filled next. Other requests are honored as plant material is available.

Submitting an Order Request

To place an order request, go online to the GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) website.  There, you can follow the link at the bottom of the page to search for individual accessions or search by a particular taxon.  On each accession page, there is a section that indicates availability.  To add the accession to the shopping cart, click the link "Request this germplasm" and follow the prompts.  Once you are finished selecting accessions, click the link "complete the germplasm request".  You will be asked to provide contact information and a description of the research planned for the requested material.  Please indicate here if you desire dormant cuttings, budwood/scionwood, or summer cuttings or budwood.  There is also a section for special instructions that can include: a shipping account number to assist in the cost of shipping the material to you, a note that you wish to pick-up your material when it is ready, or any other special preferences. Please be sure to fill in all of the requested contact information in order for the request to be processed.  When providing an address, please do not use a PO Box, as we are unable to ship to PO Boxes.

Orders for dormant cuttings or budwood must be received by November 1st, and are shipped in March-April.  Orders for summer budwood/cuttings and open-pollinated seeds must be received by May 1st, and are shipped in June-August. Orders for pollen must be received by January 31st, and are shipped at appropriate times for each crop.

*Summer requests should only be made if propagation will occur under mist.

*Due to great demand for dormant cuttings and their higher rooting success rate, we will no longer have routine distribution of Ficus summer cuttings.

If you have questions about how to place an order you can email the Orders Team at OrdersNCGR.Davis@ARS.USDA.GOV


Crop Pages

Actinidia (kiwifruit)   Diospyros (persimmon)   Ficus (fig)    Juglans (walnut)   Olea (olives)   Morus (mulberry)   Pistacia (pistachio)   Prunus (peach, plum, apricot, cherry, almond, and related species)   Punica (pomegranate)   Vitis (grape) 


GRIN Accession Query



Last Modified: 3/28/2014
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