The Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center (OPGC) is part of the National Plant Germplasm System, a network of organizations and people dedicated to preserving the genetic diversity of crop plants.

The OPGC is a joint effort of the USDA-ARS and The Ohio State University's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Financial support is provided through the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative of the ARS.

Mission and Goals

Our mission is to conserve genetically-diverse herbaceous plant germplasm and associated information, conduct germplasm-related research, and encourage the use of germplasm and associated information for research, crop improvement and product development.   

Our goals are to acquire, document, maintain, characterize and distribute herbaceous ornamental genetic resources and associated information for conservation, and to enhance scientific research as well as the floriculture and nursery industry. 


  1. OPGC participated in the COSI community event

    May 1, 2024

    OPGC staff and students participated in a community outreach event organized by the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). This second annual “We Grow Scientists” event, as a part of Center of Science and Industry (COSI) Science Festival, showcased the many STEM fields offered by CFAES. During the event, OPGC hosted a station at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory.  Over 250 visitors were invited to choose a plant, decorate a pot, and take it home with them. 

  2. FFA students tour OPGC

    Feb 16, 2024

    45 Future Farmers of America (FFA) students from Plymouth High School in northern Ohio toured the OPGC on February 16, 2024; students ranged in age from 8th -12th grade and were visiting the OSU campus to tour various areas of CFAES. During the tour, Dr. Yu Ma discussed aspects of the USDA National Plant Germplasm System and plant conservation, Susan Stieve discussed flower pollination and seed production and cleaning, and Any Schenkel discussed plant cultivation including in vitro culture.

  3. Flow Cytometry Training at OPGC

    Dec 19, 2023

    The OPGC gained a useful new tool for plant conservation and characterization, a Sysmex Ploidy Analyser!  OPGC staff received 3 days of training including equipment and software use, along with plant tissue sample preparation.  Our goal is to begin analyzing all the herbaceous ornamental accessions conserved at the germplasm center and make this data available to the public through the GRIN-Global database; this ploidy analyzer will open many new avenues of research and breeding.