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Research Project: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Preservation and Quality Assessment

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Title: Successes and Challenges with SOS Samples at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

Author
item Miller, Annette
item Greene, Stephanie

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2015
Publication Date: 4/10/2015
Citation: Miller, A.L., Greene, S.L. 2015. Successes and Challenges with SOS Samples at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation. Meeting Abstract. National Native Seed Conference, Santa Fe, NM. April 13-16, 2015.

Interpretive Summary: Since 2005, the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) has been providing long term preservation and seed back-up for the BLM Seeds of Success program. Between 2005 and 2014, NCGRP received about 8800 SOS samples for storage. NCGRP’s objective for handling samples is to determine total seed viability, then prepare and store the seeds as efficiently and effectively as possible. Therefore, testing strategies for SOS samples focus on short testing periods and minimal reliance on stratification. The tetrazolium test is used extensively to determine the viability of seeds that do not germinate readily. Seed quality challenges include the presence of inert and contaminants, dormancy issues, mechanical damage, insect damage, and species identification issues.

Technical Abstract: The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) is a USDA, Agricultural Research Service facility located in Fort Collins, Colorado. NCGRP provides long term back-up services for plant, animal and microbe germplasm and is part of the National Plant Germplasm System and the National Animal Germplasm Program. Since 2005, the NCGRP has been providing long term preservation and seed back-up for the BLM Seeds of Success program. In 2010, NCGRP operations for SOS samples changed from “black-box” storage-only to full-service storage, when the material became part of the US gene bank collection. Seed quality testing now occurs for all SOS samples. As of 2014, all earlier samples sent to NCGRP had been viability-tested and all new SOS samples are tested within 6 months of receipt. Between 2005 and 2014, NCGRP received about 8800 SOS samples for storage. NCGRP’s objective for handling samples is to determine total seed viability, then prepare and store the seeds as efficiently and effectively as possible. Therefore, testing strategies for SOS samples focus on short testing periods and minimal reliance on stratification. The tetrazolium test is used extensively to determine the viability of seeds that do not germinate readily. Seed quality challenges include the presence of inert and contaminants, dormancy issues, mechanical damage, insect damage, and species identification issues. Experiences gained from processing SOS seed can be used to inform upstream collecting and cleaning procedures to ensure high quality seed.