Plant genetic resource (or simply germplasm) management comprises two phases. The first, germplasm conservation, includes acquisition, or securing germplasm in situ (by establishing reserves) or ex situ (by assembling collections through exchange or exploration). It also comprises maintenance: monitoring and protecting germplasm in reserves or storing it ex situ under controlled conditions, propagating it while preserving its original genetic profile with maximum fidelity, monitoring its viability and health in storage, and maintaining associated passport and other data. Germplasm conservation also involves characterization, assaying highly heritable morphological and molecular traits of germplasm, for taxonomic, genetic, quality assurance, and other management purposes.
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