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Rootstocks are the underground part of plants to which different tops can be attached, or grafted, to create a stronger or better new plant.

Germplasm is material—like seeds in plants—that contains the features of a plant or animal.

When genes from two “parent” plants or animals are paired in mating, their features are combined and carried to the next generation.

Photograph of ARS geneticist Peter Cousins injecting nematodes into a grape seedling.
Geneticist Peter Cousins innoculates a grape seedling with an aggressive root-knot nematode strain. Resistant seedlings are candidates for use as rootstocks.
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Sci4Kids logo with link to this ARS Web site's home page. Hot-linked graphic of title that reads: "With Apples, All Roads Lead to Central Russia."