Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2007
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Citation: Babcock, C., Chen, X., Crous, P.W., Dugan, F.M., Goates, B., Green, P.N. 2007. Plant Germplasm Centers and Microbial Culture Collections: A User’s Guide to Key Genetic Resources for Plant Pathology. Plant Disease. 91: 476-484.
Interpretive Summary: Collections containing microbes (often referred to as 'culture collections') and collections of seeds or clonal materials for higher plants (often referred to as 'germplasm collections') can provide abundant resources for plant pathologists, breeders, geneticists, and other plant science professionals. However, many such professionals (including graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and technical staff) lack adequate guidance on locating, obtaining and processing such materials. Regulatory procedures and considerations of biological security, ambiguities regarding intellectual property rights, lack of knowledge about collection databases, and other hurdles dissuade many professionals from effectively exploiting collection resources. This Plant Disease Feature is a guide to effective use of collection materials. It concisely describes collections, and provides in depth information on the above aspects and many other facets pertinent to efficiently locating and using such collections.
Technical Abstract: This User's Guide to microbial culture collections and collections of germplasm of higher plants contains a variety of instructional material. It specifies to potential users amongst the plant science community, but especially plant pathologists, how to locate collections on line or via correspondence, and how to inspect collection holdings and access associated databases. The relative sizes and categories of holdings are sketched for several major collections. Other specifics are provided on conformity to governmental regulations (national and international); permits and phytosanitary certificates; biological security requirements and biosafety levels; intellectual property rights; the roles of type, authentic and representative cultures; and safe transport and storage of germplasm. Financial constraints on collections and endangered collections are discussed.