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Short- and medium-term in vitro conservation and management of germplasm within the USDA's National Plant Germplasm System

Jourdan, P.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1224 pp. 31-38
Begonia, Phlox, USDA National Plant Germplasm System, cryopreservation, germplasm conservation, ornamental plants, plant germplasm, seed set, seeds, tissue culture
Seed banking remains the primary strategy for germplasm conservation. However, for selected species, in vitro shoot cultures constitute an important tool in the preservation of germplasm. Although cryopreservation is the preferred method of long-term conservation, short- and medium-term preservation with in vitro shoot cultures remains a workable and flexible option. In addition, rapid in vitro multiplication of plants collected in the wild prior to seed set can provide bulked material for seed production in common garden settings. Here I describe the approaches used for preservation and management of selected germplasm using shoot culture techniques within the National Plant Germplasm System of the United States Department of Agriculture. Specific example will be made of the work at the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center on the development of tissue culture preservation systems for herbaceous ornamental genera, such as Phlox and Begonia.