Location: National Germplasm Resources LaboratoryTitle: Planning an exploration for plant genetic resources to be incorporated into the USDA National Plant Germplasm System
|WILLIAMS, KAREN - Retired ARS Employee
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2023
Publication Date: 7/25/2023
Citation: Williams, K.A. 2023. Planning an exploration for plant genetic resources to be incorporated into the USDA National Plant Germplasm System. Book Chapter. p. 1-29. Available at: https://colostate.pressbooks.pub/fundamentalsofplantgenebanking/chapter/planning-a-plant-exploration/
Interpretive Summary: This chapter provides an introduction to planning an exploration for plant genetic resources to be incorporated into the USDA National Plant Germplasm System. Landraces are the local varieties selected and propagated by farmers over many generations to meet their needs. Crop wild relatives are the direct ancestors of crops or more distant relatives. The genetic diversity in these materials is the raw material that allows plant breeders to develop crop varieties with resistance to pests and diseases, adaptations to environmental changes, improved nutritional value, and other desired traits. Conservation of these materials in the US National Plant Germplasm System and other genebanks makes them easily accessible for plant breeding and other research.
Technical Abstract: Plant explorations collect samples of plant genetic diversity for conservation in genebanks where they are available for a multitude of uses. The USDA-ARS manages a Plant Exploration and Exchange Program to acquire plant germplasm for the US National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Plant explorations are necessary when the targeted material is not already present in the NPGS or accessible from another germplasm collections. After gaps in in the NPGS germplasm collections have been identified and prioritized, the process of planning both logistical and technical aspects of a plant exploration can begin. This chapter discusses location, timing and duration, appropriate participants, field plan, equipment and resources, legal and ethical issues; as well as sampling strategy, handling of germplasm, and conservation considerations. Guidelines for addressing access and benefit sharing for international germplasm collecting are presented. Resources with additional details on these topics are provided.