The National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resource Unit (NALPGRU) serves as an important regeneration site for the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) and is a work site for the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) for Tree Fruits and Nut Crops and Grapes located in Davis, California. The NALPGRU site (stablished in 1996) is located in the San Joaquin Valley of central California and is an ideal site for crops requiring arid conditions, a long growing season and mild winters. Crops grown yearly for NPGS include non-winter hardy Hordeum (barley), Triticum (wheat), Secale (rye), Allium sativum (garlic), wild Helianthus (sunflower), Vigna unguiculata and Phaseolus. Crops grown occasionally include Capsicum (peppers), Lupinus, Petroselinum crispum (parsley), Allium (onion), Cucurbita, Cuminum cyminum (cumin), and Carthamus. NALPGRU also maintains the backup collection of Corylus (Hazelnut) for the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, OR.
In addition to growing crops for other sites, NALPGRU maintains its own collection of arid crops, each of which has a high potential for industrial uses. These include species in the genera Simmondsia (jojoba), Limnanthes (meadowfoam), Physaria (bladderpod), Paysonia (bladderpod), Parthenium (guayule), and Opuntia (prickly pear). Since its establishment in 1996, NALPGRU has acquired and maintains 1,200 accessions belonging to 126 different species and 13 different genera.
The mission of the National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resource Unit (NALPGRU) is to acquire, document, maintain, evaluate and distribute selected plant genetic resources adapted to long, warm-season and arid conditions, generate and manage associated information, provide a scientific base for its use in research and crop improvement and collaborate with other scientists in research programs incorporating the scientific information in agricultural production.