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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301458

Research Project: Plant Genetic Resource Acquisition and Conservation Strategies, International Germplasm ... for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: International Seed Testing Association List of stabilized plant names, edition 6

item Wiersema, John

Submitted to: International Seed Testing Association Handbook
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2014
Publication Date: 2/19/2014
Citation: Wiersema, J.H. 2014. International Seed Testing Association List of stabilized plant names, edition 6. International Seed Testing Association Handbook.

Interpretive Summary: Seeds provide a major form of international trade in agriculture, valued at billions of dollars annually for the United States. To safely import and export seeds, they must be inspected and determined to be free of harmful contaminants and capable of germinating. Therefore, seed lots are inspected and certified to be safe and viable. The major international organization that develops rules for seed testing is the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). Different seed-testing rules have been established for different crops, so using the right name for a plant ensures that the proper tests are performed and the results are understood by everyone involved: the tester, the exporter, and the importer. To this end, a standard list of scientific names is kept by ISTA and must be followed by all ISTA-certified seed-testing laboratories. Keeping this list up to date is essential, so that the names used by ISTA labs are the same as those used by others for the same plants. This 6th edition of the ISTA List of Stabilized Plant Names will achieve that purpose.

Technical Abstract: Seed-testing laboratories determine the quality of seed lots in national and international seed commerce. Those services most commonly requested include purity analysis, noxious-weed seed detection, and viability tests. Rigorous procedures for performing various tests on specific crops have been established and validated by seed-testing organizations like the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). The ISTA rules for seed testing are followed by laboratories throughout the world, and are regularly updated to keep pace with the changing needs of global seed commerce. Since specialized rules exist for different crops, using the correct name is essential in communicating test results. Contaminating weed seeds are reported in purity analyses, and their correct names must be used for proper communication on which species are involved. The scientific names in the ISTA List of Stabilized Plant Names embrace all crops and weeds encountered in seed testing, and must be used by ISTA-certified laboratories in reporting seed-testing results, thereby providing for standard communication between laboratories and their clients: seed companies, seed exporters and importers, and ultimately farmers who grow the seed. Because scientific names of plants often change with advances in taxonomy or changes of nomenclature rules it is necessary to periodically update the ISTA list of names. The present revision includes nearly 3,000 names and was carried out in consultation with the taxonomic data of the USDA’s Germplasm Resources Information Network and the ISTA Nomenclature Committee.