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Taxonomic Information on Cultivated Plants in GRIN-Global

Content of GRIN-Global Taxonomy

Several types of data records are contained in GRIN-Global Taxonomy. These include accepted or synonymic scientific names, common names, geographical distributions, literature references, and economic importance. Each of these is discussed below, and the number of records currently in GRIN-Global relating to each type is indicated.

Scientific Names

Accepted name records are searchable at the level of family and genus or species and infraspecies. The generic records include a listing of of names for 14 331 accepted vascular plant genera in the world and an additional 12 726 synonym generic names. For each genus, the author is cited in accordance with Articles 46–50 of the ICN (McNeill et al., 2012), and conserved or rejected names are indicated. The family to which each genus is assigned is provided, and any alternative family classifications in current use are indicated. For genera whose acceptance is doubtful or disputed, an alternatively accepted genus may be indicated. Many genera are provided with literature references in GRIN-Global documenting their acceptance or family placement, a recent taxonomic revision or monograph, or recent molecular-based phylogenetic study of the genus. Nomenclatural comments are provided for problematic genera. An increasing number of genera [111] (and families [94]) now have infrageneric (or infrafamilial) classification data present in GRIN, with the subordinate species (or genera) linked to the appropriate infrageneric (or infrafamilial) category. The generic and family data in GRIN were originally derived from USDA Technical Bulletin 1796 (Gunn et al., 1992), Families and genera of spermatophytes recognized by the Agricultural Research Service. Generic and family concepts in that publication were formulated with the aid of over 200 taxonomic specialists. Since that publication appeared, family and generic data continue to be regularly updated from current literature, and have been expanded to include pteridophytes. Currently, family names follow the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group IV system.

Species and subspecific records now total 61 740 accepted and 42 922 synonym names in GRIN-Global. Binomials (86 874), trinomials (17 737), and quadrinomials (290) are included among these. All such names are assigned a unique identifying number in GRIN-Global, the nomen number or "taxno." Names can be queried using these numbers in GRIN-Global Taxonomy's simple query option. The inclusion of infraspecific names for a given species is selective and not necessarily exhaustive. Each name at whatever rank is accompanied by author and place of original publication. Comments relating to nomenclatural matters, parentage for hybrid taxa, or alternative Group names under the cultivated code (Brickell et al., 2016) are provided for many names. Author abbreviations conform to the international standard reference Authors of Plant Names (Brummitt and Powell, 1992) and its updated on-line version. Nonserial botanical works (pre-1950) have been abbreviated according to the standard reference Taxonomic Literature (Stafleu and Cowan, 1976-1988) and its supplements (Stafleu and Mennega, 1992-2000; Dorr and Nicolson, 2008-2009), and publication dates have been verified using that work. Serial publications are abbreviated according to Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum, its Supplementum (Lawrence et al., 1968; Bridson and Smith, 1991), and BPH-2 (Bridson et al., 2004).

Each nomenclature record, as well as most other record types, contains the date of the most recent modification. Since a change could be strictly editorial, a special field also indicates if the name itself has been verified recently. Usage of GRIN-Global taxonomic information should be confined to records which have been verified. Currently all generic names and about 96% of species and infraspecific names meet this criterion. Since revisions of GRIN-Global Taxonomy formerly proceeded on a family-by-family basis, certain families are more thoroughly treated than others, particularly those with important crop genera. An example is the Fabaceae, for which the GRIN-Global data were extensively reviewed and published as USDA Technical Bulletin 1757, Legume (Fabaceae) nomenclature in the USDA germplasm system (Wiersema et al., 1990).

NGBT Plant Germplasm System Distribution Policy

Plant germplasm is distributed to scientists, educators, producers and other bona fide research and education entities from National genebank of Tunisia active collection sites. The NGBT Curator and/or Research Leader will, in accordance with current NPGS policies and procedures, determine the legitimacy of a request when necessary.

Distributions to fulfill requests for repatriation of subsamples of germplasm collections to a country or community of origin, especially following natural or man-made catastrophes, are considered a high priority.

Although distributions for research, education, and repatriation are of the highest priority, the NPGS also encourages various seed-saver organizations and public gardens to conduct germplasm conservation activities that engage many individuals and groups throughout the country. Elements of the NPGS cooperate with seed-saver organizations and public gardens and may store germplasm for and distribute germplasm to such organizations.

Distribution of germplasm from NPGS collections to fulfill requests from individuals seeking free germplasm strictly for home use is generally considered an inappropriate use of limited resources and conflicts with U.S. Government policy of not competing with commercial enterprises. Requestors can be asked, in an appropriate manner, to justify the use of specific NPGS germplasm instead of suitable commercially available germplasm.

Accessions listed in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database as “not available” due to insufficient or low viability seed and/or scheduled for regeneration will generally not be available for distribution.

Other accessions are listed in GRIN as “not available” because they are not a part of the NPGS collection per se, but are conserved in NPGS genebanks to meet specific needs as described later in the section entitled “Categories of Germplasm Distributed and Availability.” In this category are certain accessions of improved germplasm that are only available from the owner/developer. Other accessions require that specific conditions be met by the requestor before distribution is possible.

NPGS sites will not distribute germplasm internationally when they cannot comply with the importation or quarantine requirements of the recipient country unless the requestor can provide a valid waiver of such requirements.