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Scientists extract seed embryos from acorns


Saving Seeds for the Future

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USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack looks at cube vessels with plant tissue cultures as geneticist David Dierig provides details about the process at the ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.

ARS scientists are helping to preserve the genetic diversity of our food crops by storing the germplasm (seeds and other parts) of hundreds of thousands of plants at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado. Using both conventional and cryogenic freezing techniques, they are able to maintain seeds for up to 50 years. The center is part of a larger effort at ARS locations nationwide to store plant, animal, insect, and microbial material for industry and the research community.

Watch this video The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - An Overview to learn more.