Going Green

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Plant Genetic Diversity

Genetic variety is critical to the future of not only food supplies, but also to medicine and other plant derived products. It may also become critical to energy.

Preserving Genetic Variety of Valuable Specialty Crops

By Laura McGinnis
October 10, 2007

What’s a “specialty crop”? It can be any of hundreds of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery plants and other crops that add variety to the diet and beauty to the garden.

To protect all U.S. crops—and provide material for developing new and better ones—the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) maintains genetic material, or germplasm, at more than 20 genebanks around the country. Many NPGS locations conserve germplasm of specialty crops.

In the Plant Genetic Resources Unit at Geneva, N.Y., ARS scientists identified previously...(complete article here).

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