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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315729

Research Project: Conservation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Plant Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

Title: Warm-season Grass Conservation

Author
item Harrison, Melanie

Submitted to: Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2015
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Citation: Harrison, M.L. 2015. Warm-season Grass Conservation. Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings. March 31-April 1, 2015, Apalachicola, FL. p. 14-16.

Interpretive Summary: The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), administered through the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, was established in 1949 to safeguard plant genetic resources for research and educational purposes. The mission of the NPGS is to acquire, preserve, evaluate, document and distribute plant genetic resources. The grass germplasm is maintained as two separate collections - the warm-season grass collection located at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU) in Griffin, GA and the cool-season grass collection located at the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station in Pullman, WA. The warm-season grass collection consists of material suitable for forage, turf, bioenergy, soil erosion, habitat restoration, landscape ornamental and grain. The collection at PGRCU has 7524 unique warm-season grass samples representing 106 genera and 495 species. Basic information and descriptor data on every accession is available at the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/index.html. Some of larger sets of grasses in the collection include bluestems, windmill-grass, digitgrass, panicgrass, paspalums, feather\bristle grasses, and Urochloa. Collection efforts in the past decade have focused on increasing the availability and diversity of plant material native to the United States. The NPGS warm-season grass collection is a valuable resource to plant breeders, researchers and educators globally. Efforts will continue to improve the quality and availability of the plant material and expand the diversity and characterization of the collection.

Technical Abstract: The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), administered through the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, was established in 1949 to safeguard plant genetic resources for research and educational purposes. The mission of the NPGS is to acquire, preserve, evaluate, document and distribute plant genetic resources. The grass germplasm is maintained as two separate collections - the warm-season grass collection located at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU) in Griffin, GA and the cool-season grass collection located at the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station in Pullman, WA. The warm-season grass collection consists of material suitable for forage, turf, bioenergy, soil erosion, habitat restoration, landscape ornamental and grain. The collection at PGRCU has 7524 unique warm-season grass accessions representing 106 genera and 495 species. Passport data and characterization data on every accession is available at the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/index.html. In regards to the number of species maintained in the collection, the main genera include Bothriochloa, Chloris, Digitaria, Panicum, Paspalum, Pennisetum, and Urochloa. Acquisition efforts in the past decade have focused on increasing the availability and diversity of germplasm native to the United States. The NPGS warm-season grass collection is a valuable resource to plant breeders, researchers and educators globally. Efforts will continue to improve the quality and availability of the germplasm and expand the diversity and characterization of the collection.