National Academies Press: OpenBook

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (1991)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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MANAGING GLOBAL GENETIC RESOURCES

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Imperatives

Board on Agriculture

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1991

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, under Agreement No. 59-32U4-6-75. Additional funding was provided by Calgene, Inc.; Educational Foundation of America; the Kellogg Endowment Fund of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine; Monsanto Company; Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; Rockefeller Foundation; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Forest Service; W. K. Kellogg Foundation; World Bank; and the Basic Science Fund of the National Academy of Sciences, the contributors to which include the Atlantic Richfield Foundation, AT&T Bell Laboratories, BP America, Inc., Dow Chemical Company, E.I. duPont de Nemours & Company, IBM Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Monsanto Company, and Shell Oil Company Foundation.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System / Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Imperatives.

p. cm.—(Managing global genetic resources)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-04390-5

1. National Plant Germplasm System (U.S.) 2. Crops—United States—Germplasm resources. 3. Germplasm resources, Plant—United States—Management. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Imperatives. II. Title: US National Plant Germplasm System. III. Title: United States National Plant Germplasm System. IV. Series.

SB123.3.U17 1991

631.5′23′0973—dc20

90-21056

CIP

© 1991 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the U.S. government.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
×

Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Imperatives

PETER R. DAY, Chairman,

Rutgers University

ROBERT W. ALLARD,

University of California, Davis

PAULO DE T. ALVIM,

Comissão Executiva do Plano da Lavoura Cacaueira, Brasil*

JOHN H. BARTON,

Stanford University

FREDERICK H. BUTTEL,

Cornell University

TE-TZU CHANG,

International Rice Research Institute, The Philippines

ROBERT E. EVENSON,

Yale University

HENRY A. FITZHUGH,

International Livestock Center for Africa, Ethiopia

MAJOR M. GOODMAN,

North Carolina State University

JAAP J. HARDON,

Center for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands

DONALD R. MARSHALL,

Waite Agricultural Research Institute, Australia

SETIJATI SASTRAPRADJA,

National Center for Biotechnology, Indonesia

CHARLES SMITH,

University of Guelph, Canada

JOHN A. SPENCE,

University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Genetic Resources Staff

JOHN A. PINO, Project Director

MICHAEL S. STRAUSS, Associate Project Director

BRENDA E. BALLACHEY, Staff Officer

JOSEPH J. GAGNIER, Senior Project Assistant

*

Executive Commission of the Program for Strengthening Cacao Production, Brazil.

Winrock International, through January 1990.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
×

Subcommittee on Plant Genetic Resources

ROBERT W. ALLARD, Chairman,

University of California, Davis

AMRAM ASHRI,

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

VIRGIL A. JOHNSON,

University of Nebraska

RAJENDRA S. PARODA,

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi

H. GARRISON WILKES,

University of Massachusetts, Boston

LYNDSEY A. WITHERS,

International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, Italy

National Plant Germplasm System Work Group

CALVIN O. QUALSET, Chairman,

Genetic Resources Conservation Program, University of California, Davis

JOHN L. CREECH,

U.S. Department of Agriculture (Retired)

S. M. (SAM) DIETZ,

U.S. Department of Agriculture (Retired)

MAJOR M. GOODMAN,

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University

A. BRUCE MAUNDER,

DEKALB Plant Genetics, Lubbock, Texas

DAVID H. TIMOTHY,

Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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Board on Agriculture

THEODORE L. HULLAR, Chairman,

University of California, Davis

PHILIP H. ABELSON,

American Association for the Advancement of Science

C. EUGENE ALLEN,

University of Minnesota

DALE E. BAUMAN,

Cornell University

R. JAMES COOK,

Agricultural Research Service at Washington State University

ELLIS B. COWLING,

North Carolina State University

ROBERT M. GOODMAN,

Madison, Wisconsin

TIMOTHY M. HAMMONDS,

Food Marketing Institute

PAUL W. JOHNSON,

Iowa House of Representatives

NEAL A. JORGENSEN,

University of Wisconsin

ALLEN V. KNEESE,

Resources for the Future, Inc.

JOHN W. MELLOR,

International Food Policy Research Institute

ROBERT L. THOMPSON,

Purdue University

JAN VAN SCHILFGAARDE,

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ft. Collins, Colorado

ANNE M. K. VIDAVER,

University of Nebraska

CONRAD J. WEISER,

Oregon State University

CHARLES M. BENBROOK, Executive Director

JAMES E. TAVARES, Associate Executive Director

CARLA CARLSON, Director of Communications

BARBARA J. RICE, Editor

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
×

Preface

The work of sustaining a productive agriculture by developing new crops and improving existing ones is inextricably linked to the need for plant germplasm—the broad array of materials, from seeds to large trees, that are maintained and preserved because of the genetic traits they may contain. Germplasm manipulation led to the production of the high-yielding varieties of rice, wheat, and maize that now play a key role in world food production. The conservation and exchange of germplasm have become important concerns for many nations and international institutions. This report examines the management of plant germplasm in the United States and the activities of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). It may also serve as a springboard for discussions about the establishment of a U.S. program that encompasses a broader array of genetic resources.

The NPGS holds a wide array of germplasm collections and is the world 's most active distributor of germplasm samples to other nations. The scientific, technical, and support staff at many of its facilities are dedicated to preserving these important resources for future generations. The committee recognizes the past important contributions made by many dedicated individuals who have contributed to the achievements of the NPGS.

As the size and number of NPGS collections have grown over the years, the task of managing them at a number of sites located throughout the United States has also increased. As a result, the national system has become a loose association of sites and organizations that, at times, has a diversity of goals and lacks coordinated leadership. The NPGS

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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will continue to grow and it must continue to respond to emerging needs. It must now become a distinct, centrally managed, and nationally coordinated unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This report is directed toward accomplishing that end.

The Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources, established by the National Research Council in November 1986, is concerned with the world's genetic resources that have an identified economic value. These resources are important to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and industry. The committee has been assisted by two subcommittees and several work groups that gathered information or prepared specific reports. One of the work groups, chaired by Calvin O. Qualset, examined the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System and drafted this report. It is one of five committee reports to be published in a series entitled, Managing Global Genetic Resources. Other reports prepared by the committee, its subcommittees, and work groups address issues related to the global management of forest trees, livestock, fish and shellfish, and crop plants. The examination of crop plants will be included in the committee's main report, which will address the legal, political, economic, and social issues surrounding global genetic resources management as they relate to agricultural imperatives.

In addition, a work group was appointed to provide information that would aid in planning and designing a new storage facility for the National Seed Storage Laboratory. The committee released a letter report, Expansion of the U.S. National Seed Storage Laboratory: Program and Design Consideration, in April 1988. Copies of this report are available from the Board on Agriculture.

The charge to the NPGS Work Group was to assess the structure and operation of the components of the national system; to determine its adequacy in applying technology as well as anticipating and meeting the present and foreseeable needs of U.S. agriculture; and to examine the policies guiding its interaction in the international conservation and use of plant genetic resources. Within the context of the committee 's work, examination of this system provides a valuable case study for similar programs in other countries. More specifically, the work group was asked to do the following:

  • Assess the extent to which the organization, administration, and operation of the present system meet the needs of exploration, collection, conservation, and use of agricultural plant germplasm.

  • Consider to what extent present arrangements encourage or constrain cohesiveness and coordination, and promote wide participation within the system.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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  • Determine the appropriate roles for the various elements of the system at national and state levels, as well as the nature of the interaction between the public and private sectors in germplasm conservation.

  • In the context of meeting the needs of U.S. agriculture, define the possible interactions of the NPGS with other national and international programs, and examine the potentials for international cooperation for collection, conservation, or distribution and the adequacy of U.S. policy in this regard.

  • Define priority needs of the national system, in terms of funding, existing technologies, facilities, personnel, and research.

  • Define and assess the nature of linkages between base collections, working collections, and in situ collections as these relate to the work of the NPGS and plant breeders.

The report begins by outlining the challenges of managing plant germplasm, describing the components of a national system, and reviewing the origins of germplasm management in the United States and the development of the NPGS. Chapter 2 details the sites, collections, laboratories, and offices that comprise the national system. Chapter 3 describes the administrative components of the NPGS and how the system obtains and acts upon advice. The committee's recommendations make up the last chapter. The committee offers these to aid the NPGS in continuing and enhancing its impressive record of service to U.S. and global agriculture.

Appreciation of the importance of plant germplasm and its impact on the development of modern agriculture can easily be obscured amid the details of multiple administrative relationships and site descriptions. An understanding of how a small, weedy plant growing in a distant land can be important to this process is often lost. For this reason the report contains summaries of six individual germplasm samples and the diverse ways in which they came to be recognized and used.

PETER R. DAY, Chairman

Committee on Managing Global Genetic Resources: Agricultural Imperatives

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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Acknowledgments

Many scientists and administrators of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System have contributed time, support, and information essential to the development of this report. The committee acknowledges the assistance of individuals at the regional plant introduction stations, the national clonal repositories, and the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory (formerly the Germplasm Services Laboratory), and thanks the many advisory groups within the NPGS for allowing committee members and staff to attend meetings and participate in discussions.

Several individuals provided information used in developing the profiles of specific germplasm accessions. The contributions of David W. Altman, L. Gene Dalton, Donald N. Duvick, Kenneth J. Frey, Edgar E. Hartwig, Larry J. Grauke, Frederick R. Miller, Charles M. Rick, Zea Sonnabend, Tommy E. Thompson, Noel Vietmeyer, Roger D. Way, Kent Whealy, Denesse Willey, Thomas Willey, and Johnny C. Wynne are gratefully acknowledged. The committee also appreciates the personal perspectives on germplasm work of Raymond L. Clark and Stephen Kresovich.

Administrative and secretarial support during various stages of the development of this report was provided by Philomina Mammen, Carole Spalding, and Maryann Tully, and they are gratefully acknowledged.

Special thanks is extended to Henry L. Shands, national program leader for plant germplasm, who contributed his knowledge and time to answering the many inquiries for information about U.S. germplasm activities.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1583.
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The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

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In the United States, the critical task of preserving our plant genetic resources is the responsibility of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS).

NPGS undergoes a thorough analysis in this book, which offers wide-ranging recommendations for equipping the agency to better meet U.S. needs—and lead international conservation efforts.

The book outlines the importance and status of plant genetic conservation and evaluates NPGS's multifaceted operations. Two options for revamping NPGS within the U.S. Department of Agriculture are included.

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