The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to “develop and implement a national strategic germplasm and cultivar collection assessment and utilization plan that takes into consideration the resources and research necessary to address the significant backlog of characterization and maintenance of existing accessions considered to be critical to preserve the viability of, and public access to, germplasm cultivars.” Furthermore, the 2018 Farm Bill stipulated that “on completion of development of the plan…the Secretary shall make the plan available to the public.”
In response to this Congressional directive, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) developed a comprehensive 10 year-long National Strategic Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan in collaboration with the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council (NGRAC) and customers/stakeholders.
The Plan is described in these 4 documents:
- Strengthening the USDA/ARS National Plant Germplasm System to Conserve and Utilize Crop Germplasm that Sustains Us -This 2 pages-long document distills the key points of the overall Plan through an infographic approach.
- Synopsis of the National Strategic Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan -This 29 pages-long document provides more details about those key points of the Plan.
- National Strategic Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan: Technical Details, Analyses, and Approaches -This lengthy (208 pages-long) document provides the major plant genetic resource management, programmatic, and budgetary details and data comprising the Plan.
- National Strategic Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan: Supplemental Crop and Crop Wild Relative Collections Data -This 87 pages-long document provides plant genetic resource management details and data for the specific crop and crop wild relative germplasm collections included in the Plan.
When implemented, the Plan will result in:
- Maintenance of more plant germplasm that are disease-free, securely backed up, and available for research and breeding.
- Enhancement of knowledge of the intrinsic genetic variation and high-value traits in that germplasm.
- Acquisition, conservation, and development of new plant germplasm with valuable traits.