Genebanking: processes for preserving genetic resources of organisms.
The OPGC assists plant researchers, the scientific community, plant breeders and consumers by:
The OPGC uses genebanking to help preserve the genetic makeup of oranmental plants. The following describes our motivation for doing so as well as our procedure.
Breeders improve crops through the genetic introduction of traits such as flower color or disease resistance. However, before genetic enhancement is possible, the genes must be identified and located in the pool of genetic resources or germplasm of the species.
Access to a diverse germplasm pool is crucial for the successful incorporation of novel traits in commercial ornamental crops. Until recently, most breeding programs have focused primarily on aesthetic qualities resulting in an inadvertent erosion and narrowing of genetic diversity of many economically important ornamental crops. This narrowed genetic base has increased the vulnerability of the crops to, for example, epidemic disease and has potentially limited our ability for further improvement of ornamental crops.