Priorities for the programs include identifying and filling gaps in germplasm collections, especially wild relatives of crops that are endangered by habitat loss; preservation of stored germplasm; improving protocols for germ plasm regeneration; ensur ing the accuracy of collections; and expanding the availability of germplasm information and genetic material.
Stewardship of the ARS today’s breeders have not even Though ARS’s animal germ- ARS Research scientific collections is a conceived of yet. The agency plasm collections are not as old Programs in major concern for the agency is also working to promote or extensive as the plant and more international germplasm microbial collections, major Systematics and the country. Priorities for the programs include exchanges. efforts are being made to and Collections identifying and filling gaps In addition, ARS is using identify, preserve, characterize, in germplasm collections, its unique resources to men- and distribute animal germ- Agricultural Research Ser- especially wild relatives of tor and train researchers and plasm. Research is focusing vice programs for systematics crops that are endangered by technicians around the world, on developing ways to improve and collections fall mainly habitat loss; preservation of which will help other coun- the viability of cryopreserved under two national programs— stored germplasm; improving tries expand their efforts to germplasm for some species. Plant Genetic Resources, Ge- protocols for germ plasm preserve and protect native Development of inter- nomics, and Genetic Improve- regeneration; ensur ing the germplasm. national databases for ani- ment (#301) and Food Animal accuracy of collections; and The agency’s Germplasm mal germplasm is also Production (#101). There are expanding the availability of Resources Information Net- gaining momentum. Current more than 15 categories of germplasm information and work (GRIN), currently an im- livestock database-building collections, including plant and genetic material. portant source of information efforts are being coordinated animal germplasm, bacteria, ARS works with national about ARS plant germplasm, among ARS, Canadian, and fungi, nematodes, molecular and i
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