Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Docs » Main

headline bar

Supervisory Research Horticulturist: Dr. Tracie Matsumoto Brower, Research Plant Pathologist: Dr. Lisa Keith, Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Mission:The mission of the Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research Unit is to support our stakeholders by safeguarding tropical fruits and nuts for future generations by efficiently and strategically collecting, conserving, regenerating, evaluating and distributing tropical genetic resources and information and by conducting research to enhance agricultural sustainability and crop resistance to pests and disease by developing new technologies that integrate classical and molecular approaches, to use multi-disciplines approaches to provide innovative technologies, protocols, and fact based support to environmental sound, economical beneficial end-products.


Repository buildings 


History: In 1986, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Tropical Fruit and Nut Crops was initiated as a joint cooperative project between the USDA/ARS, National Plant Germplasm System and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). The unit was federalized in 1989 and became part of the National Plant Germplasm System. The current collection is approximately 1000. Crops are maintained as living plants in approximately 40  acres of field plantings at three locations. Selected germplasm are grown in tissue culture, and in greenhouses. (Please note: Not all germplasm is available for distribution and only small quantities of germplasm are distributed to scientists and industry for research purposes. Access to collection information and requests for germplasm can be found by contacting GRIN Global: GRIN .) To contact us call (808)959-5833.


Tropical Plant Genetic Resources Distribution Policy


The USDA, ARS, Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research (TPGRDR) unit at the Daniel K. Inouye Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC), Hilo, HI distributes small quantities of tropical fruit and nut crop germplasm to scientists, educators, producers and other bona fide research and education entities. Germplasm, if available, may be provided in small amounts and infrequently to private individuals, and students on conditions that the requested materials are not available commercially such as in grocery stores, nurseries, orchards, university and botanical gardens. We encourage the public to check with their local sources before requesting materials from the USDA/ARS/ National Plant Germplasm System. NPGS benefits the general public by ensuring global food security through research and breeding, not by providing for home gardens. A brief video on the NPGS Repository system:


Accessions listed in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database as "Not Available" due to insufficient or low viability seed and/or scheduled for regeneration will generally not be available for distribution.


What is available:   We provide clonal germplasm distribution as scion wood and bud wood, or in tissue culture when appropriate and available.  It is the requestor's responsibility to have rootstock at their site for grafting and budding for scion and bud wood requests.  Seeds of tropical crops are seasonal and have short storage life; seeds may be available during fruiting season.


A maximum of ten (10) accessions of germplasm, at five counts per accession may be available for each request.  A maximum one request per year is accepted. We reserve the rights of curatorial discretion in germplasm distributions.


Contacts: All germplasm inquires should be emailed to, or as hard copy or through the GRIN website.  Please include complete name and address of the requesting institute or individual with complete and accurate contact information such as telephone number, street address, email and fax information.



All germplasm requests for distribution outside of the U.S. require a valid plant import permit from the host country Department of Agriculture.  All terms stated on the permit must be in English.  It is the responsibility of the requester to secure the plant import permit prior to submitting the germplasm request.


Do not request chemical treatments on the import permit, as we do not provide chemical treatment on plant materials.  The standard procedures in our unit to prepare germplasm for shipping include washing and cleaning each piece with soap and water followed by a 5 minute dip in a 5% bleach solution.  


For countries that require specific chemical treatment, it is the requester's responsibility to arrange for appropriate chemical treatment at a quarantine facility at the port of entry of the importing country. 


USDA, APHIS (plant quarantine) charges U.S. $61 for each phytosanitary certificate request, it is the responsibility of the requesting institute or individual to arrange for phytosanitary inspection and payment.



USDA/ARS does not charge for small quantities of plant materials for scientific research and testing. 


Materials will be shipped by surface mail at our cost to legitimate requesters.  If you prefer an express shipment service, please provide your overnight courier account information with your request.  


Please acknowledge the USDA, ARS, TPGRDR, Hilo, HI in publications and products resulting from the use of plant materials from the repository.  Information on plant evaluation or research results should be reported to the TPGRDR for entry into the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).




The TPGRDR unit has made every effort to authenticate the name and health status of the plant material prior to distribution, but assumes no responsibility for the identity, health or performance of the plants or propagules being shipped.




The Fourteen Designated Crops

Pineapple - Ananas comosus & spp

Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis & spp.

Starfruit - Averrhoa carambola & spp.

Peach palm - Bactris gasipaes & spp.

Pili nut - Canarium ovatum & spp.

Papaya - Carica papaya & spp.

Longan - Dimocarpus longan & spp.

Lychee - Litchi chinensis & spp.

Macadamia - Macadamia integrifolia & spp.

Acerola - Malpighia glabra & spp.

Rambutan - Nephelium lappaceum

Pulasan - Nephelium rambutan-ake & spp.

Guava - Psidium guajava & spp.