Genetic diversity may be lost through inadequate maintenance of germplasm. The citrus and date repository provides protection from extremes in environmental conditions and natural insect and disease pests by maintaining germplasm collections in insect-excluding greenhouses and screenhouses. Within this protected environment, the plants can be kept free of viruses and other pathogens and separate and distinct from the working field variety collection.
Alternatives to long-term storage of large plants is an integral part of the Repository's goal. Cooperative research with the National Seed Storage Laboratory in the areas of low temperature and cryogenic storage of seeds, clonal buds, and scions are being pursued currently or planned for the future.