Genetic identity and genetic purity: Who cares?

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Stanford Young

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Assume that you as a plant professional are in charge of restoring a compromised landscape as it was pre-disturbance, or at least revegetate it to similar ecological form and function. You find seeds in the marketplace that appear applicable to your project at a price you can afford and order them delivered. You end up with a very nice pile of bags, bins, or boxes. Do you care if they are labeled correctly with the proper species, germplasm notation, and provenance (i.e., genetic identity)?  Do you care if the delivered seeds possess the genetic traits (and include minimal off-types or contaminants) representative of the natural populations or germplasm selections that you specified (i.e., genetic purity)?  If you do care, do you have the resources available to accomplish your own investigation before planting to verify genetic identity and genetic purity?  If you don’t have the resources, you might want to learn about seed certification schemes for native seeds applicable in your part of the world that provide traceability of origin and collection and that ensure compliance with high standards for cultivated multiplication. Sampling and testing may also be required so that the seed purity and viability is known. In this presentation, we will briefly present to you existing examples of seed certification frameworks worldwide, address the basics of the certification process and what is really necessary, and welcome your input and opinions on this topic.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration