The Germplasm resource Trust is a Trust formed by NZPBRA and AgResearch specifically to fund germplasm collection expeditions for forage species. The two partners contribute an equal amount annually. Expeditions take place every few years as funds reach a sufficient amount.
All germplasm collected will be stored at New Zealands designated genebank, the Margot Forde Germplasm Centre at AgResearch at Palmerston North, with a duplicate collection in another international genebank. This germplasm is publicly available to all breeders.
Margot Forde Germplasm Centre http://www.agresearch.co.nz/seeds/
New Zealand has a long history of forage breeding and germplasm collection with many expeditions to a number of countries including, Australia, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Chile and the Caucasus Mountains.
Since the establishment of Germplasm Resource Trust there have been two collection expeditions to:
Coastal Pacific NW USA – 1997
Black sea coast of Turkey – 2000
Collections are targeting both the Primary or Secondary regions of a species, with more emphasis placed on the Primary region and particularly on the Centre of diversity.
Collections focus largely but not exclusively on Mild Winter temperate and Oceanic climate zones, with particular emphasis on regions where limited international resources have been collected previously.
The species collected are largely those forage species used in New Zealand agriculture, with some attempt to collect them in proportion to their importance.
Wild relatives of these forage species will also be collected where they are present, particularly if international collections hold only limited resources of such species.
Consideration will also be given during collection expeditions to focus on edaphic factors which may be important in certain species, such as tolerance to aluminium.
Some priority will be given to regions where there is severe risk of genetic erosion.