Handling Cross-pollinated Germplasm Efficiently1
- Glenn W. Burton2
Germplasm is one of man's most valuable natural resources. It has been and will continue to be the source of genes to modify and protect his crops. It must be collected and preserved. It must also be used now and in the future. Supplying specific genes (many of them recessives) to protect or modify man's crops has been the principle use made of germplasm collections in the past. Today they are improving populations as well as supplying useful specific genes. Germplasm samples reaching plant breeders must be increased before they can be evaluated, used, and preserved. Vegetative increase and maintenance may be the most efficient method of handling germplasm of some perennials such as bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.). Producing both selfed and intercrossed seed in the increase will insure seed production should an introduction prove to be partially self-incompitable and will facilitate its evaluation. Selfed seed is the most efficient source of specific genes and appears to be the most efficient storage form for future use. Drying selfed seeds to 5 to 7% moisture content, sealing them in glass containers with labels on the inside, and storing them at −20 C appears to be the most efficient method of preserving germplasm in a readily usable form. Mixing S1 seed from a number of introductions into logical groups may facilitate the distribution and use of cross-pollinated germplasm.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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