One of the benefits CPC provides to its Participating Institutions is an opportunity to store seeds within the network or with our partners at USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP) in Fort Collins, Colorado, or the Millennium Seed Bank.
The Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) each CPC PI individually signed with NLGRP (so-called “black-box”) places the responsibility on the CPC PI to distribute seeds to any bona fide research request. Seeds collected on National Park Service lands cannot be stored using the MTA with NLGRP, because the NPS distribution policy is inconsistent with the USDA legal requirement for distribution. For distributions outside the US, the primary distribution site is responsible for obtaining phytosanitary certificates and any other necessary permits (for example, CITES, USFWS). Questions regarding this agreement should be addressed to Stephanie Greene, USDA-ARS, NLGRP.
The Material Transfer Research Agreement (MTRA) between CPC and NLGRP covers Participating Institution seed collections that contribute to research on seed storage behavior and longevity studies. Note that the curation package will be used to gather information about seed characteristics, germination, and storage requirements (see Part 1C, “CPC Best Practices for Splitting Samples for Safety Duplication Storage and Testing.”) This agreement has no distribution requirement. Seeds collected on National Park Service lands can be stored for research purposes under this agreement. The CPC highly recommends institutions store their seeds with the research side of NLGRP, so that the lab can perform research and collection monitoring. (See Material Transfer Research Agreement NLGRP_CPC) Questions regarding this agreement should be addressed to Christina Walters, USDA-ARS, NLGRP.
NLGRP, CPC seed bank affiliates, and PIs agree to share information gleaned from seed banking with the network upon request.
For easy data transfer for CPC member insitutions, use the NLGRP data entry form in the CPC PI portal on saveplants.org/login.
Germination protocols, viability of seeds in storage over varying lengths of time, and seed characteristics are important details to share with conservation partners. Because there is still much to learn about storing seeds of rare species, we encourage you to publish your findings.