Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2002
Publication Date: 9/28/2002
Citation: WALTERS, C. EX SITU CONSERVATION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES. 2002. International Symposium on ART for the Conservation and Genetic Managment of Wildlife. Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE. Pp 193-195. Interpretive Summary: Genebanking is increasingly used as a conservation strategy. Methods used to genebank plants vary according to the conservation target (genes, geneotypes or populations) and the tolerance of the propagules to stress. Survival in storage depends on the storage procedures used but longevity may potentially exceed one hundred years.
Technical Abstract: Genebanks are an ex situ conservation strategy designed to capture and conserve genetic diversity within and among species. In genebanks, germplasm is placed in suspended animation so that desirable allelic combinations and rare alleles of a species are available for the future. Plant germplasm is really a collection of propagules: seeds or pollen to preserve the genetic composition of populations, and cuttings, buds, rhizomes or cell cultures to preserve specific genetic combinations of individuals. Most genebanks have a completely utilitarian goal: plant breeders use collections to make higher-yielding, more resistant crops and ecologists preserve threatened populations until they can be reintroduced into restored habitats. Whether for agricultural or landscape management purposes, genetic diversity is required for a species to establish and adapt to a changing environment.