Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


  • National Research Council. Managing Global Genetic Resources: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Chapter 1. Managing crop genetic resources. 1991.
  • Busch, L. et al. Making Nature Shaping Culture: Plant Biodiversity in Global Context. Chap 6. The view from the grass roots. 1995.

Key Questions

The U.S.National Plant Germplasm System

  • What are the different uses of germplasm conservation?
  • What is the most common method of germplasm preservation?
  • Which are some of the biotechnological techniques that help in germplasm preservation?
  • What are the elements of a germplasm conservation program?
  • How effectively is the conserved germplasm used by the plant breeders in the US?
  • How does agriculture affect genetic diversity?

Making Nature Shaping Culture: Plant Biodiversity in Global Context

  • What are the impressions that can be distilled as we compare the different grass roots experiences for genetic diversity conservation with reference to
    • Trigger point for activity initiation
    • Major themes that showcase the importance of genetic diversity
    • Involving other actors in the activity
    • Organizational structure
    • Accessing and sharing knowledge