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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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The changing needs in U.S. agriculture place new demands on farmers and plant breeders for new improved varieties which require access to a wide range of well characterized plant diversity. An increasing global population will require more efficient food production, and a changing climate requires crop varieties adapted to stresses.  Limited, and sometimes compromised, water resources are having greater impacts on crop yields.

The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation is one of the largest and most diverse genebanks in the world and the flagship of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). We have close collaboration with individual crop curators from the NPGS to back-up and monitor their unique collections. We work to back-up world plant collections, collaborating with other national and international genebanks. Along with preserving crops for U.S. agriculture, we safeguard storage of threatened and endangered plants, crop wild relatives, plants for medicinal uses, and new crops being considered for future biofuel or bioproduct use.

Linked to our mission, we develop improved storage protocols of seed, clonally preserved crops, and microbes to become more efficient in our standard operating procedures. We characterize germplasm in our collection to identify plant traits that increase crop productivity under water shortages. Our focus on germplasm preservation and characterization will ensure that farmers have access to the most productive crop varieties and help the U.S. remain as a world leader in genetic resources preservation.

For further information about NCGRP preservation processes contact principal investigators:

Dr. Stephanie Greene
- plant breeding and genetics
- microbial genetic resources

Dr. Maria M. Jenderek
-lead scientist for cryopreservation of clonal plant germplasm
-pre-cryo conditions and post-cryo survival

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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