December 1, 2004
- genetic resources,
Germplasm collections are viewed as a source of genetic diversity to support crop improvement and botanical research, as well as conservation efforts. The United States Department of Agriculture's National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is responsible for managing plant genetic resources in the USA. This paper examines the benefits generated by the genetic resources held by the three subtropical and tropical clonal germplasm repositories that are part of the NPGS. They are the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, FL (4,744 accessions), the Tropical Agriculture Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez, PR (715 accessions), and the Tropical Plant Genetic Resource Management Unit (TPGRMU) in Hilo, HI (675 accessions). The NPGS research programs are dedicated to answering questions that help curators conserve and manage genetic resources in a more effective and cost--efficient manner. In addition, the research on preserving these collections, the cost of maintenance and the procedures for distributing germplasm are discussed here.