Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377622

Research Project: Characterizing and Detecting Pathogens to Ensure Safe Exchange of Plant Germplasm

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: National Plant Germplasm System

item Kinard, Gary
item Williams, Karen

Submitted to: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2020
Publication Date: 8/24/2020
Citation: Kinard, G.R., Williams, K.A. 2020. National Plant Germplasm System. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Interpretive Summary: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System is a network (federal, state, and private partners) led by the Agricultural Research Service of USDA that acquires, conserves, evaluates, and documents plant material, and distributes small quantities to scientists globally. The Wikipedia article summarizes the mission of the NPGS, its historical origins, and current status. Included are links and videos from the National Agricultural Library documenting early plant exploration efforts at USDA.

Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is a network of institutions and agencies (federal, state and private) led by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the effort to conserve and facilitate the use of the genetic diversity of agriculturally important plants and their wild relatives. Tremendous genetic variability exists in the local varieties (landraces) of crops and their closely related wild plants (crop wild relatives). The NPGS assists plant breeders and other research scientists by acquiring, conserving, evaluating, documenting, and distributing germplasm (seeds and other propagative material) of these plants, as well as of improved cultivars and breeding lines. This diverse germplasm provides the genetic raw material needed by plant breeders to develop new varieties of crops that have desirable qualities and can withstand constantly changing biological and environmental stresses. Conservation and use of this genetic diversity are critical to meeting the current and future challenges to global food security.