The future of plant genetic resources and their stewards is bright and filled with new technologies.
Imagine a gardener, plant explorer, geneticist, and computer specialist all rolled into one job. You might call that person a steward of plant genetic resources.
Plant genetic resources are any plant materials, such as seeds, fruits, cuttings, pollen, and other organs and tissues from which plants can be grown. The stewards are the breeders, researchers, farmers, genebank staff, and many others who keep them safe and utilize them.
Peter Bretting, a National Program Leader for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, says these plant genetic materials and those who care for them are important for human survival.
“These are the materials for crop breeding which play a role in food security and plant research,” he says. “Crops make up the thin green line standing between humanity and calamity. To feed the growing world population, breeders must develop new crop types that yield more on less land with less materials such as water and fertilizer.”
Continue reading at American Society of Agronomy
Image via Keither Weller, USDA-ARS